Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for May.
In six starts during the month, Kershaw posted a 5-0 record and led the Majors with a 0.91 ERA, allowing just five earned runs over a Major League-best 49.2 innings of work. He fanned a Major League-leading 65 last month while walking just two. The five-time All-Star also led the Majors with three complete-game shutouts. No other pitcher had more than one.
Kershaw notched his third shutout on May 23rd, tossing 9.0 scoreless frames and allowing only two hits to record his fifth consecutive win in a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati at Dodger Stadium. The shutout performance tied his previous single-season career-best (also 2015) and was the 15th of his career. He recorded seven strikeouts in the outing, while issuing one walk. The performance came on the heels of an 11-strikeout effort on May 17th, in which he tossed 8.0 innings of one-run ball en route to a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. It was the sixth consecutive performance (dating back to April 21st) in which the Texas native recorded 10-or-more strikeouts while issuing one walk-or-less, a modern-era record. In that six-start span, Kershaw struck out 68 batters while issuing only two walks. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other pitcher in the modern era has recorded as many strikeouts with as few walks over a six-start span. This is his sixth career NL Pitcher of the Month Award, having won most recently for July 2015.
Others receiving votes included Miami's Jose Fernandez (6-0, 1.38 ERA, 56 SO, 39.0 IP); San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner (4-0, 1.05 ERA, 45 SO, 42.2 IP) and Johnny Cueto (4-0, 2.03 ERA, 39 SO, 44.1 IP); and Noah Syndergaard (3-2, 1.95 ERA, 43 SO, 37.0 IP) of the New York Mets.
The National League Pitcher of the Month for May, Clayton Kershaw, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.