Photo by Jon Willey
By Greg Dillard
To say Justin Upton has been swinging a hot bat would be an understatement.
For the past week, the D-backs’ All-Star right fielder has been nearly unstoppable at the plate. Upton’s monster performance earned him Co-National League Player of the Week Honors for July 18-24.
He batted an outstanding .519 with two homers and five doubles during that time. His 11 RBI and 27 total bases led the Major Leagues. In 27 at-bats, Upton posted a .552 on-base percentage while slugging 1.000, which also led the Majors. He collected two or more hits in five of the team’s seven games.
Upton was especially strong in the D-backs’ three-game series against Rockies. The right-handed hitter batted .750 with nine hits, four doubles, and nine RBI against Colorado. He was an on-base machine, as well, as noted by his .786 on-base percentage.
Sunday’s series finale saw Upton carry the Arizona offense en route to a 7-0, series-clinching win. He was perfect at the plate by collecting four hits.
He drilled an RBI double, his 27th of the season, into right field in the bottom of the third. Two innings later, Upton smacked an RBI triple into right field. The bottom of the sixth saw Upton drive yet another double, this time into left. His fourth and final hit came in the bottom of the eighth, when he singled off Colorado’s Huston Street.
“Balls have been falling for me,” Upton said. “I’ll take what I can get.”
Saturday’s matchup against the Rockies featured another notable performance from Upton. The two-time All-Star tied a career high by driving in six runs, as the D-backs cruised to a 12-3 win. He drove in a pair of runs with his double in the opening inning. In the seventh, Upton crushed a grand slam into the left-field stands to collect four more RBI. It was the second grand slam of his career.
Upton is now hitting .342 at Chase Field this season after tallying 14 hits throughout the D-backs’ 10-game home stand. That is the second-highest home batting average in the National League.
“I’m just seeing the ball pretty good right now,” Upton said. “I’m getting pitches to hit, and the balls that are getting up over the plate, I’m squaring them up.”
This is Upton’s second career Player of the Week award as won it earlier this season for the week of June 13-19th.