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Manny Machado Credits Hitting Coach Scott Coolbaugh For Player Of The Week Honor

August 22, 2017
BALTIMORE -- For the third time this season, the Orioles have an American League Player of the Week. This time, it's third baseman Manny Machado, who batted .385 (10-for-26) with four home runs and 12 RBIs in the week ending Aug. 20.
 
The Orioles are the only team this year to have three Players of the Week. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop and shortstop Tim Beckham have also won.
 
 On Aug. 18, Machado hit three home runs, including a game-ending grand slam.
 
"At this point of the season, all we're trying to do is play though, get some 'Ws,'" Machado said. "Get ourselves in a good situation. This is all that matters."
 
Machado's recent success came after a rough start to the season. Through June 30, he was hitting.216, and he's boosted his average to .263.

"This year has been a learning experience," Machado said. "Stay with my goals and stay with my routines that I've had for a while, and never shy away from that."
  
Manager Buck Showalter said he knew Machado would get hot sooner or later.
 
"Somebody's going to pay when you've got that type of ability," Showalter said. "I'm still holding out some hope that happens between now and the end of the year with a couple of other guys."  
 
During Machado's slump, some criticized Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, but the third baseman defended Coolbaugh unprompted after his award was announced.
 
"... Coolbaugh's been a big influence on why I've been doing so well, staying on me every day, getting me in the cage," Machado said. "I talk to him between innings -- if he sees something wrong or he sees how pitchers are pitching to me. I think that's why, offensively, we've been so different. He's been on top of us a little more. It just makes the game easier. It's already hard enough."
 
Coolbaugh, who is in his third season as the team's hitting coach, isn't a high-profile instructor, but he had defenders in the clubhouse.
 
"If he could get up there and grab a bat, he would," Machado said. "Obviously, I wasn't hitting the first two months, and it's not on him. It's on us. There's a business side of it, and you always have to blame someone for our mistakes and our failures. He helps us tremendously and goes above and beyond for every single guy in this clubhouse. That's what we feed off of. That's what we see. That's how we like it. He's a great guy. He's smart. He's definitely made me a better hitter this year than I've ever thought of being."
 
The Orioles have 36 games remaining, and it will take a herculean effort for them to reach the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

"We're doing well offensively right now. We're trying to get on a nice little run," Machado said.  "Hopefully, things get rolling, and we'll have the opportunity."

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox