The Nationals have seen plenty of NL player of the week awards over the years in their brief history as a franchise in Washington, but perhaps none was quite as surprising as the latest.
On Tuesday, shortstop Danny Espinosa won the honors after putting up not only the best week of his career, but about as good a week as manager Dusty Baker has ever seen.
"I don't know if anyone could have done any better. If somebody had done better, it would have been a super week," the 67-year-old skipper said.
Espinosa hit .423 during the week of June 27 through July 3 with five homers, 17 RBI, four walks and eight runs scored. He led all major leaguers in homers during that stretch and in OPS (1.593).
It was the best week Espinosa has ever had in baseball, no matter the level. He had never done anything quite like this in Little League, high school, college or the minors.
"Probably the best I've ever had. It was a lot of fun," Espinosa said. "That's a long time in baseball. Nothing has ever compared to that week at all. Not even close."
The reason why it's surprising is because of where Espinosa was just a few weeks ago. As recently as June 7 he was hitting just .196. In May he began hitting homers, but lately everything else has caught up.
Espinosa said plenty of family and friends have reached out to him over the past few days to congratulate him on his surge at the plate. He's also taken pride in how happy his teammates and coaches have been for him.
As for how he's put up these numbers, Espinosa described what it's like to get as hot as he's been at the plate.
"You're aware of it. You're seeing the ball well. You're driving the ball like you're supposed to drive it and not missing the pitches. You can draw out long at-bats. You're comfortable and very aware of where you're at," he said.
There have been 20 different NL player of the week awards won by the Nationals. Included in that list are current players Bryce Harper (May 4-10, May 11-17, & Sept. 14-20, 2015), Max Scherzer (June 15-21 & Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015), Stephen Strasburg (Sept. 14-20, 2015 & June 7-13, 2010) and Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007).