San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of August.
Bumgarner fanned a League-high 56 while notching a 4-1 record in six August starts. The southpaw also paced the Senior Circuit with a 1.57 ERA (8 ER/46.0 IP) and ranked first in innings pitched while holding opponents to a .164 batting average - the second lowest mark among qualifying N.L. pitchers. Bumgarner walked just six hitters last month, giving him a Major League-best 18.67 SO/BB ratio for August.
The 25-year-old opened August with one of his best outings of the season, allowing just two hits in a 9-0 complete game shutout victory on August 3rd over the New York Mets at Citi Field. Bumgarner needed just 94 pitches to dispatch the Mets for his 13th win of the 2014 campaign. His 94 pitches (19 balls) were the fewest by a Giants starter in a shutout victory since Bill Swift tossed 85 on September 17, 1993 at Cincinnati. The two-time All-Star fanned a season-high 12 hitters in his start on August 21st, leading the way to a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. On August 26th, Bumgarner turned in one of the most dominant performances of his career, pitching a one-hit shutout and matching a personal best with 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. The North Carolina native was perfect through 7.0 innings before Justin Morneau's leadoff double in the eighth ended his perfect game bid. Bumgarner threw just 103 pitches (80 strikes) in the contest, throwing no more than 15 in any one inning. It was his fifth career shutout and 19th career double-digit strikeout performance. Bumgarner capped the month by earning his 16th victory of the season on August 31st, tossing 6.0 innings en route to a 15-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He fanned seven in the contest, giving him 199 this season, which matches his previous single-season best (2013). His 16 wins are also tied with his career high mark set in 2012. Bumgarner is currently tied for second in the N.L. in wins and ranks fourth in strikeouts. This is his second career Pitcher of the Month Award, having won previously for May of this season.
Other pitchers receiving votes included N.L. Rookie of the Month winner Kyle Hendricks (4-0, 1.69 ERA, 20 SO, 37.1 IP) of the Chicago Cubs; Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 1.80 ERA, 44 SO, 40.0 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (4-0, 2.21 ERA, 35 SO, 40.2 IP); and Milwaukee's Michael Fiers (4-1, 1.80 ERA, 41 SO, 35.0 IP).
The National League Pitcher of the Month for August, Madison Bumgarner, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.