Washington Nationals Max Scherzer named the NL Pitcher of the Month for May

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of May.

Scherzer posted a 5-1 record with a 1.67 ERA and Major League-leading 56 strikeouts in 43.0 innings of work last month. The two-time All-Star joined Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett as the only pitchers to win five decisions last month. Scherzer's ERA ranked fourth among qualifying NL hurlers and it was the lowest among Major Leaguers with at least 40.0 innings pitched. Scherzer held opposing batters to a stingy .208 batting average and allowed only eight runs (all earned) across his six outings. The Missouri native tossed at least 7.0 innings in each of his starts last month and posted double-digit strikeouts four times. Along with teammate Bryce Harper, who was selected the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for May, the duo became the first teammates to win Player and Pitcher of the Month honors in the same month since Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and CC Sabathia in July 2008.

After opening the month with a tough-luck loss, in which he tossed 7.0 innings, fanned 10 and allowed just one run (earned) in an eventual 4-0 loss to the New York Mets, Scherzer bounced back with wins in five consecutive starts from May 6th-27th. On May 16th, the 30-year-old tossed 7.0 scoreless frames while fanning 11 and walking just two en route to a 4-1 win for the Nationals at San Diego's Petco Park. He held the Phillies to just a single run (earned) over 8.0 innings of work on May 22nd to earn his fifth win of the season as the Nats edged Philadelphia, 2-1. Scherzer capped the month with a 13-strikeout performance on May 27th at Wrigley Field, holding the Chicago Cubs scoreless through 7.0 innings of work, while walking just one in a 3-0 victory. With his six outings this month, Scherzer ran his streak of consecutive starts in which he has pitched 7.0 innings or more to eight games (dating to April 17th), matching Livan Hernandez's Nationals record (June 20th-July 31st, 2005). This is his first career Pitcher of the Month Award.

Other pitchers receiving votes included Atlanta's Shelby Miller (2-1, 0.95 ERA, 26 SO, 38.0 IP); Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett (5-0, 1.82 ERA, 39 SO, 39.0 IP); Washington's Drew Storen (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SV, 13 G, 16 SO, 12.1 IP); and San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong (4-0, 1.14 ERA, 21 SO, 31.2 ERA).

The National League Pitcher of the Month for May, Max Scherzer, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.