Here is a look at this week’s “three stars” – according to X Marks the Sport.
1. Kyle Busch (NASCAR/Auto Racing)
In February, Kyle Busch went down with a compound fracture in his right leg and another fracture in his left foot as a result of a nasty collision with the inside retaining wall at Daytona. Due to the injury, Busch’s season got off to a pretty slow start. He heated up in July however, winning his previous two Sprint Cup races heading into the Brickyard 400. Busch was the one who ended up kissing the bricks on Sunday, picking up his fourth win in his last five Sprint Cup starts. The Brickyard is a major race on the NASCAR schedule, and Busch called Sunday’s win the “biggest of [his] career so far”. He became the first driver since 2007 to win three consecutive Sprint Cup races and the first driver not named Jimmie Johnson to win three in a row in this millennium. Busch closed the week out by winning the World Truck race at Pocono, his seventh win across different racing circuits since June 13.
2. Carlos González (RF – Colorado Rockies)
Amidst murmurs of trade rumors, Carlos González managed to lock in and have his best stretch of the season. In last Sunday and Monday’s games alone, he had a solid week or two worth of production. He had 7 hits in those two games, and launched a pair of home runs in each game. After a 6-RBI outburst on Sunday, González came right back the next night and drove in 4 more. Two days later, he left the yard for the 8th time since July 22. For the week, González compiled a .423 batting average (11-26) with 5 home runs, 12 runs batted in, and 10 runs scored. He also demonstrated excellent plate discipline last week, drawing a base on balls in six of the seven games. The walks helped González reach base 17 times over that span, earning a fantastic .515 on-base percentage for the week. This hot streak is a reminder that when healthy, CarGo can be one of the best offensive players in the sport.
3. Lucas Duda (1B – New York Mets)
On July 24, the New York Mets made a trade with the Atlanta Braves to acquire Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. There had been speculation that Johnson could have been brought in to take at-bats away from Lucas Duda or even replace him as a starter. After all, prior to the trade Duda was terrible – batting .138 with 2 HRs and 5 RBI over 18 July games. The talked of potentially being benched seemed to reinvigorate Duda, and the result was a power surge at the plate. Duda hit 6 home runs last week (including a 3-home run barrage on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres) and capped off a streak which saw him have 8 consecutive base hits all go for home runs. He was the entire offense for the Mets on Saturday in a big win over the division rival Washington Nationals, hitting 2 homers and driving in 3 runs in the pivotal 3-2 victory. Duda’s stat line for the week was a a .389 average (7-18) with 6 home runs, 8 runs batted in, and 6 runs scored. He is a streaky player and prone to slumps, but when he gets his power stroke going he can help carry an offense.