Hamburger's Two Complete Games Earns Him Second Pointstreak American Association Pitcher of the Week HonorST. PAUL, MN July 11, 2016
Hand the ball to Mark Hamburger and chances are he will hang on to it until the very end. That’s exactly what he did during the week of July 4-10. His two complete game victories helped him earn the Pointstreak American Association Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season.
During the week he went 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two games. He threw two complete games tossing 18.0 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on 15 hits while walking one and striking out 11.
The week started in front of nearly 10,000 at CHS Field on the 4th of July against the Joplin Blasters. Hamburger retired the side in order in the first, third, sixth and eighth. He gave up an unearned run in the second, but it could have been worse. Willie Cabrera led off with an infield single to short and Charlie Valerio singled him to second. An error by Harris at second on a ground ball scored Cabrera and sent Valerio to third with nobody out. Hamburger, however, got Edwin Gomez to fly out to shallow left and then induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Cory Morales to end the inning.
The lone earned run Hamburger gave up came in the seventh when he gave up a solo homer to Gomez, his second of the season. Hamburger threw 123 pitches, 89 for strikes and allowed two runs (one earned) while striking out four.
On Saturday night, July9, at Newman Outdoor Field against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks he was even better. The lone run Hamburger gave up came in the second. Brian Humphries reached on a bunt single With one out Kes Carter doubled just out of the reach of a diving Alonzo Harris in left-center scoring Humphries to make it 1-0 RedHawks.
In the sixth and seventh Hamburger retired the side in order and had retired eight in a row until he ran into trouble in the eighth with the Saints clinging to a 2-1 lead. Bryan Johns hit a soft groundball to the right side that got into right field between first and second. Then Hamburger tried to pick him off, but his throw was wide and allowed Johns to move to second. Hamburger did something he hadn’t done in 21.2 innings, he walked a hitter as K.D. Kang got the free pass to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Hamburger, however, would get Ryan Pineda to line out to right without anyone advancing. He then got .353 hitter Keury De La Cruz to fly out to left and .316 hitter Josh Mazzola to fly out to right to end the inning.
In the ninth Hamburger made quick work of the first two hitters before Carter doubled to right. With the tying run at the plate Hamburger got Luke Bailey to ground out to second to end the game. Hamburger tossed the complete game allowing one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out a season tying high seven. He threw 106 pitches on the night, 78 for strikes.
On the season Hamburger is 9-0 with a 2.59 ERA and four complete games, tops in the league. In 87.0 innings pitched, most in the American Association, he has walked just 11 and struck out 48 while opponents have hit .250 against him. He leads the league in wins and is fifth in the league in ERA
Hamburger now has nine complete games in his Saints career, one shy of the franchise record of Charlie Ruud who pitched from 2005-09, a total of 79 starts. Hamburger has started just 32.
This is the second time Hamburger has earned the award this season, receiving it for the week of May 23-29. The Saints have also received a Player of the Week award this year when Tony Caldwell received it during the week of June 13-19.
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