SEATTLE -- Like many pitchers, Joel Pineiro doesn't like to walk batters. The problem his opponents are having lately, however, is that Pineiro isn't letting them hit much, either. The Mariners starter earned American League Player of the Week honors after posting a 2-0 record and 1.59 ERA in two starts last week. During those 17 innings, he fanned six and walked none. His walkless-innings streak currently stands at 18.
"I want them to earn their way on base," Pineiro said. "Maybe I give up 10, 12, 15 hits, but they're all singles, I don't care -- they earned their way on. I don't want to give them a free pass. That's how they get things started, maybe bunt the guy over, hit-and-run, things like that." The right-hander's standout week didn't come against fluff teams, either. On Saturday, Pineiro allowed the Indians -- who with 201 runs through Sunday are the highest scorers in the Majors -- to drive in just one run off four hits over eight innings of work. The win halted a four-game losing streak for Seattle that began after his last start. "I want to be that guy where they trust me, 'Here's the ball. Go out there and do the job,' " Pineiro said. "I'm not saying I'm the guy to do that every time out there, but I want that trust from them. I want them to feel that way about me." The eight-inning effort came just five days after Pineiro's 105 pitches against the Twins were enough both for the Mariners' 8-2 win and the first complete game of the season for the club. Through Sunday, it is just one of seven in the American League this season. His outing not only impressed the coaching staff, but earned gratitude from his bullpen teammates as well. "We've only had one off-day in the last two and a half weeks and don't really have one coming up soon," reliever George Sherrill said after the game. "So this early in the season, it's always good to get an unexpected day off. So it was a big outing for two different reasons." Pineiro is the first Mariners pitcher to earn the award since Kazuhiro Sasaki in April 2001, and the first Seattle starter since Randy Johnson in June 1997. Other candidates considered were Cleveland designated hitter Travis Hafner (.320 average, four homers, 13 RBIs), Detroit outfielder Magglio Ordonez (.333, four homers, nine RBIs) and Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus (.333, four homers, eight RBIs). Pitchers considered for the award were Minnesota's Johan Santana (2-0, 20 strikeouts over 14 innings) and C.C. Sabathia (2-0, 0.69 ERA over 13 innings) of the Indians.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.