WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson was named co-winner of the Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for the period of May 30-June 5, 2005. Johnson shares the award with Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. It's the second award given out to a member of the Nationals in less than a week. Last Thursday, outfielder Ryan Church was named the NL's Rookie Player of the Month for May. For Johnson, it's his second Player of the Week award since being a member of the Nationals/Expos organization. Last season, he won the award for Aug. 10-15 by going 8-for-18 (.444) with two home runs and 10 RBIs.
Last week, Johnson led the league with a .545 batting average (12-for-22) with five RBIs and eight runs scored. During that stretch, the Nationals went 6-1, and they now find themselves in first place in the NL East. "Nick has been in the middle of a lot of things lately, and he continues to get big hits for us and put good wood on the ball," manager Frank Robinson said recently. "He is in a very good rhythm right now and I hope it continues." Johnson said he has made some adjustments at the plate. He is no longer vulnerable to inside pitches. "I feel I'm waiting longer on pitches at the plate instead of just jumping on the ball. It's just a battle every day. It's a grind," said Johnson, who is hitting .333 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. "I just do my work and my drills in batting practice and try to bring it into the game." Other nominees this past week included Nationals reliever Luis Ayala; Cardinals starter Jason Marquis; J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent of the Dodgers; Chicago's Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Neifi Perez, Greg Maddux and Glendon Rusch; Mike Lieberthal and Randy Wolf of the Phillies; Colorado's Clint Barmes and Matt Holliday; Jack Wilson of the Pirates; Milwaukee's Carlos Lee; Willy Taveras of the Astros; San Francisco's Omar Vizquel; Geoff Blum of the Padres; and Arizona's Tony Clark. Johnson will receive a Tourneau luxury Swiss timepiece.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.