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Zimmermann named NL's best pitcher of the month

Jordan Zimmermann's month-long dominance throughout July earned the Nationals right-hander his first career National League Pitcher of the Month award on Thursday. He also becomes the third Nats pitcher -- joining Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez -- to garner the honor this season.

Zimmermann was nearly flawless in July, going 4-0 with a Major League-best 0.97 ERA, while allowing either one or zero earned runs in each of his six starts. The righty conceded just four earned runs off 27 hits over 37 innings, while striking out 31 and walking just four.

Along with Strasburg's award in April and Gonzalez's May honors, the trio of Washington hurlers is the most on one team to notch monthly pitching awards in the same season since 1979 when the Astros had four such pitchers (Ken Forsch, Joe Niekro, Joaquin Andujar and J.R. Richard).

Zimmermann's six quality starts last month also has him leading all Major Leaguers in that category entering play Thursday with 19. He's had just two non-quality starts in his 21 outings this season, both of which came back in May.

With his four July wins, Zimmermann improved to 8-6 on the season and lowered his overall ERA to 2.28, the third-best mark in the Majors.

Washington Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann