Clayton Kershaw voted National League Pitcher of the Month for June
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for June.
Kershaw, who threw his first career no-hitter on June 18, was tops among qualifying Major League pitchers with a 0.82 ERA (4 ER/44.0 IP) last month while pacing the big leagues with six wins (6-0) and 61 strikeouts. The left-hander tied Philadelphia's Cole Hamels for the most innings pitched during the month and held opposing hitters to a .161 batting average, which was good for second in the N.L. behind Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (.157). Kershaw went the distance in two of his six outings last month and did not allow a single run in his last three starts - a span of 24.0 scoreless innings. The 24.0-inning scoreless streak marked the longest such streak in Kershaw's career, besting a previous high of 22.0 scoreless innings from May 8-19, 2012.
On Sunday, Kershaw capped his stellar month with a 13-strikeout performance in a 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner scattered five hits and two walks across 7.0 shutout innings en route to his ninth win of the season. He threw 109 pitches (74 strikes) in the victory, his highest pitch total in any game this year. On June 24, Kershaw dazzled in the follow up to his no-hitter, tossing 8.0 scoreless innings while fanning eight Kansas City Royals on the way to a 2-0 win at Kauffman Stadium. It was his first time on the mound at Kauffman since he worked a scoreless fifth frame for the N.L. All-Star squad at the 2012 Midsummer Classic. On June 18, the Texas native joined teammate Josh Beckett as the second member of the Dodgers rotation to throw a no-hitter this season, blanking the visiting Colorado Rockies while fanning 15 in an 8-0 win. The only blemish on his otherwise perfect outing reached base by way of an error in the seventh inning. According to Elias, his 15 strikeouts were the most in Major League history by a pitcher that did not allow a runner by way of hit, walk or hit by pitch. The previous record of 14 strikeouts in such a game was shared by Brooklyn's Nap Rucker (September 5, 1908), Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965) of the Dodgers and San Francisco's Matt Cain (June 13, 2012). The no-hitter was the 22nd in franchise history, the most by a single club in the Major Leagues. This is the third career Player of the Month honor for Kershaw, having also won for July 2013 and July 2011.
Other pitchers receiving votes included Arrieta (4-0, 0.92 ERA, 48 SO, 34.1 IP) and rookie right-hander Jesse Hahn (4-1, 1.95 ERA, 36 SO, 27.2 IP).
The National League Pitcher of the Month for June, Clayton Kershaw, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.