Strasburg named NL Pitcher of the Month

Strasburg named NL Pitcher of the Month

Even with National League Cy Young Award favorite Max Scherzer potentially hampered by a right hamstring cramp, the Nationals can still count on an ace starting Game 1 of the NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Friday. That ace is Stephen Strasburg, who has won the NL Pitcher of the Month Award for September.

NLDS Game 1: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET on TBS

Strasburg entered September on a 20-inning scoreless streak, and he didn't get much worse from there. While the streak ended on Sept. 17 after a franchise-record 35 scoreless innings, Strasburg went on to lead the Majors in ERA for the month with an 0.83 mark.

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Strasburg also led the Majors in FIP at 1.55 and posted a 4-0 record in five starts with 40 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. That performance has been the norm for him during the second half, as his 0.86 ERA since the All-Star break leads the Majors.

That second-half hot streak can give the Nationals confidence in Strasburg as a Game 1 starter if Scherzer has to sit for a few days. Nats manager Dusty Baker said Sunday that Scherzer's hamstring injury would "probably" affect the team's NLDS rotation.

This is the third time in Strasburg has earned NL Pitcher of the Month honors and his first of the season. He previously won the award in April 2012 and July 2016.

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.