LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) To the surprise of no one who is paying attention, Dodgers dominant lefty Clayton Kershaw was named the National League’s best pitcher for the month of May, the team announced Thursday.
In his six starts during the month, Kershaw posted a 5-0 record and led the majors with a scant 0.91 ERA. Kershaw allowed just five earned runs over a league-best 49.2 innings of work. He also led the majors in strikeouts with 65 while just walking 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 nine 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 struck out seven Reds and only walked one.
The performance came on the heels of an 11-strikeout effort on May 17th, in which he tossed 8 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 span of half a dozen games, Kershaw struck out 68 batters and walked only two. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other pitcher in the modern era has recorded as many strikeouts with as few walks over the same time frame. This is Kershaw’s sixth career NL Pitcher of the Month Award, having won most recently in 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), 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.
For his latest honor, Kershaw, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his off-the-chart month.