On June 19th against the Baltimore Orioles, Kluber logged the 12th complete game and fifth complete-game shutout of his career, retiring 27 of 30 batters faced. He became one of four players in franchise history since 1913 to log a shutout while allowing fewer than three hits along with no walks and 11-or-more strikeouts, joining Stan Williams (1968), Len Barker (1981) and teammate Josh Tomlin (2014). In Corey's final start of his award-winning month against the Texas Rangers on June 29th, the Stetson University product tossed 8.0 innings of one-run ball with 12 strikeouts, permitting just three hits and one walk. With the dominant outing, Kluber became the first pitcher in franchise history to register four consecutive starts with at least 10 strikeouts in the same season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 64 punchouts were the most by a Cleveland hurler in a single calendar month since Sam McDowell's 71-strikeout month in May 1970. Moreover, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner replicated his own record (May 2014) as the only pitcher in team history to notch at least 60 strikeouts and zero losses in a single month. In each start during his outstanding month of June, Kluber recorded at least 6.0 innings pitched, while shutting out the opposition in three of six decisions.
Kansas City Royals All-Star starting pitcher Jason Vargas (6-0, 1.98 ERA, 41.0 IP, 1 CG SHO) also posted a deserving month. Vargas became just the second Royals pitcher to go 6-0-or-better in a calendar month, joining Bret Saberhagen, who compiled a 7-0 record during his Cy Young Award-winning season in August 1989. Additionally, Vargas boasts a seven-game winning streak, dating back to May 27th, the longest among Royals hurlers since Zack Greinke notched nine straight victories from September 13, 2008-May 4, 2009 en route to winning the 2009 AL Cy Young Award. Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included All-Star starting pitcher Chris Sale (4-1, 2.78 ERA, 35.2 IP, 45 SO) of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (3-0, 2.23 ERA, 32.1 IP, 35 SO).
In five starts last month, Scherzer, who was selected a 2017 NL All-Star, registered a 3-2 record with a 0.99 ERA and an impressive 51:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 36.1 innings pitched en route to claiming his third career monthly award, last winning in June 2015. Max is the first Nationals pitcher to be awarded NL Pitcher of the Month since teammate Stephen Strasburg last July. Among qualified Major League starters, Scherzer finished his impressive month first in ERA after surrendering just four earned runs on 14 hits.
On June 11th against the Texas Rangers at Nationals Park, Scherzer tossed his fourth consecutive outing with at least 10 strikeouts, limiting the Rangers to a pair of earned runs over 7.1 innings of work. In the contest, Scherzer tallied the 2,000th strikeout of his career over a span of 1,784.0 innings pitched. According to Elias, Max became the third-fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach the milestone, trailing only Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez (1,711.1) and Randy Johnson (1,733.1). In addition, the two-time Cy Young Award winner matched Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan in reaching the 2,000-strikeout plateau in his 287th career game, the third-fewest games in MLB history behind Johnson (262) and current Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (277). In his penultimate start of the month on June 21st, Scherzer allowed an infield single in the eighth inning to break up his no-hitter bid. In his excellent outing, Max tallied 11 strikeouts while issuing just one free pass. The right-hander notched at least 10 strikeouts for his sixth consecutive start, the secondlongest streak in the Majors this season after AL All-Star Chris Sale (8), and the longest streak in Nationals history. Martinez also posted a streak of six consecutive games during his Cy Young Award-winning season in 1997 to match Scherzer for the franchise record (Nationals/Expos).
Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and NL All-Star Kershaw (5-0, 2.23 ERA, 40.1 IP, 57 SO) also posted an impressive month of June. Clayton also registered the 2,000th strikeout of his career on June 2nd against the Milwaukee Brewers, reaching the milestone in 1,837.2 innings pitched, the fourth-fastest in MLB history behind Martinez, Johnson and Scherzer. In each start during his dominant month, Kershaw tossed at least 6.0 innings, while logging at least 10 punchouts in three of six outings. Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Dodgers All-Star closer and NL Reliever of the Month Kenley Jansen (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 SV, 28 SO) and Dodgers starter Alex Wood (3-0, 2.10 ERA, 25.2 IP, 27 SO); starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (4-1, 2.75 ERA, 36.0 IP, 33 SO) of the New York Mets; and starting pitcher Chase Anderson (3-1, 1.56 ERA, 34.2 IP, 33 SO) of the Brewers.
In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.