Player of the Week: Troy Tulowitzki

The Colorado Rockies’ shortstop continues to make a push for NL Rookie of the Year with his impressive second-half play. During a six-game stretch against the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs (in which Colorado went 4-2), the 22-year-old went 13-for-25(.520) with three homers, four doubles and 12 RBIs. Tulowitzki, who also drew three walks and scored seven times over the six games, is batting .362 during August, raising his average to .286, to go along with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs. The first-round pick in 2005 moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order — not a bad place to hit from, especially at Coors Field.

BASEBALL STORYLINES

Before last week, Rick Ankiel was best remembered as a pitcher with enormous potential who mysteriously lost all mastery of his craft based primarily on one tragic meltdown in the 2000 playoffs (in which he threw five wild pitches in one inning) that still brings up uncomfortable memories when viewed. Thankfully, Ankiel has rewritten those memories and turned them into one of the year’s most heartwarming revival stories. Capping off a six-year odyssey that saw the former can’t-miss prospect evolve from a fireballing pitcher into a slugging outfielder, Ankiel hit a three-run homer in his first game as the Cardinals’ right fielder, then followed up that performance two games later by bashing two more home runs and making two spectacular catches.

New York lost a legend Monday when Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto passed away at the age of 89. The 5-foot-6 shortstop was a five-time All-Star and the AL MVP in 1950, during which he batted .324 and scored 125 runs. Rizzuto played his entire career for the Yankees, winning seven World Series titles while earning himself a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he may be best remembered as New York’s legendary broadcaster. Rizzuto began calling Yankees games a year after his retirement and his trademark phrase, “Holy cow!” became a phenomenon. His No. 10 will adorn the sleeves of all Yankees uniforms for the rest of the season.

In a season that has been marked by an explosion of offensive milestones, the Detroit Tigers’ Placido Polanco and the Chicago White Sox’sBobby Jenks went against the tide by making headlines for their non-offensive exploits. By playing the field flawlessly against the A’s on Monday, Polanco broke Luis Castillo’s major-league record with his 144th straight game without an error at second base. Jenks’ feat was just as impressive, as the closer recorded his 41st straight out against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, breaking David Wells’ AL record and tying him with ex-Giant Jim Barr for the longest such streak of all time.

— Will Reisman

KEY SERIES

YANKEES AT INDIANS (Today-Sunday):

Cardinals at Cubs (Today-Monday): It has been a nightmare season for the Cards — their play has been miserable and they’ve been struck by tragedy off the field — but somehow Albert Pujols and Co. are still in the running for the NL Central title and can further their cause against the Cubs.

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