Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of June, his second consecutive monthly honor.
In six June starts, Scherzer posted a 3-2 record, including a NL-best two shutouts. The two-time All-Star's 2.33 ERA (10 earned runs in 38.2 innings pitched) ranked eighth among NL hurlers and was the second-lowest among those with 36.0 innings pitched or more.
Scherzer fanned 45 batters during the month of June, third-most in the NL, and held opponents to a paltry .145 batting average, scattering 20 hits across his six outings. Scherzer capped the month with wins in three consecutive starts, which included his first career no-hitter on June 20th vs. Pittsburgh. The no-no came on the heels of a complete-game, one-hitter in his June 14th outing at Milwaukee in which he fanned 16 Brewers in a 4-0 decision. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the historic two-game stretch marked the fifth time in the modern era (since 1900) that a pitcher held his opponents to one hit or fewer in consecutive complete game efforts. The only other pitchers to accomplish the feat were Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves (1944), Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds (1938), Dazzy Vance of the Brooklyn Robins (1925) and Howard Ehmke of the Boston Red Sox (1923). Scherzer continued to stymie opposing batters into his final start of the month, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning of his June 26th outing at Philadelphia before Freddy Galvis disrupted his bid to join Vander Meer as the only other pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters in Major League history. Scherzer settled for his ninth win of the season, fanning seven across his 8.0 innings of work, in an eventual 5-2 victory for the NL East-leading Nats. The Missouri native currently ranks among league leaders in wins (T-3rd), ERA (2nd, 1.79) and strikeouts (2nd, 140) on the season.
With his second career Pitcher of the Month Award, Scherzer becomes the first Washington pitcher to win the honors consecutively. He is the second in franchise history to do so, joining Jeff Fassero, who won in June and July of 1996 with the Montreal Expos. Overall, he is the first NL pitcher to win back-to-back monthly awards since Clayton Kershaw won in June and July last season.
Other pitchers receiving votes included New York's Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.21 ERA, 37 SO, 37.1 IP); Pittsburgh reliever Mark Melancon (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SV, 14 SO, 14.2 IP) and starter Gerrit Cole (4-1, 2.35 ERA, 38 SO, 38.1 IP); Zack Greinke (1-1, 1.74 ERA, 36 SO, 41.1 IP) and Yimi Garcia (1-1, 4.26 ERA, 13 SO, 12.0 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Carlos Martinez (4-1, 2.18 ERA, 36 SO, 33.0 IP) and Trevor Rosenthal (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 SV, 12 SO, 11.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and San Diego's Brandon Maurer (4-0, 1.23 ERA, 14 G, 13 SO, 14.2 IP);
The National League Pitcher of the Month for June, Max Scherzer, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably
engraved, to commemorate his performance.