Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of April.
Cole was a perfect 4-0 in five April starts, tying for the Major League lead in wins while ranking among league leaders with a 1.76 ERA (4th) and 35 strikeouts (6th) in 30.2 innings of work. His ERA was the lowest among NL pitchers with 30.0-or-more innings of work last month. The 24-year-old held opposing hitters to a .198 batting average, allowing just 22 hits and eight walks. Cole allowed just a single home run. This is the first career Pitcher of the Month Award for Cole, who was voted NL Rookie of the Month for September 2013. In addition, he is the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win the award since Randy Tomlin in June 1992.
The California native notched his first victory of the 2015 campaign in his second start of the year on April 13th, holding the visiting Detroit Tigers to just three hits and a single earned run across 6.0 innings while fanning eight in a 5-4 victory for the Bucs. He improved to 2-0 with another strong outing at PNC Park on April 19th, tossing 6.0 innings to earn the win in a 5-2 decision against the Milwaukee Brewers. On April 24th, the youngster posted his first road victory of the season, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks offense to a single earned run in a season-high 7.2 innings of work. Cole capped his stellar month with a win on April 29th at Wrigley Field, holding the Chicago Cubs to a single run (unearned) while allowing just five baserunners (3 H, BB, HBP) in 6.0 innings en route to an 8-1 win. With the decision, the first overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft improved to 6-0 in six career starts against the Cubbies and 4-0 lifetime at Wrigley Field.
Other pitchers receiving votes included Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto (2-2, 1.95 ERA, 5 GS, 37.0 IP, 38 SO); Zack Greinke (4-0, 1.93 ERA, 27 SO, 32.2 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Michael Wacha (4-0, 2.42 ERA, 16 SO, 26.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.31 ERA, 25 SO, 32.2 IP) and Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04 ERA, 31 SO, 26.2 IP) of the New York Mets.
The National League Pitcher of the Month for April, Gerrit Cole, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.