Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for September.
Porcello compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.70 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched over six starts to claim his second career AL Pitcher of the Month Award, last winning in May 2009. Porcello is the first Red Sox hurler to win AL Pitcher of the Month since his teammate Clay Buchholz took home monthly honors in April 2013. Among qualifying starters in the AL (minimum 26.0 innings pitched), Rick finished the period first in innings pitched, tied for first in wins, fourth in strikeouts and tied for seventh in ERA. The veteran right-hander permitted 34 hits, limiting opponents to a .211 batting average, and yielded just four walks during his award-winning month.
In a start on September 9th against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, the 2007 first round selection (27th overall by Detroit) recorded his 20th win of the season, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to do so since Josh Beckett in 2007. Dating back to 1913, Porcello joined Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez (20-4, 1999 and 2002), Roger Clemens (20-4, 1986 and 1997) and Boo Ferriss (20-4, 1946) as the only pitchers in franchise history to win as many as 20 of their first 24 decisions in a season. On September 19th against the Baltimore Orioles, the Morristown, New Jersey native became only the second pitcher since the start of 2015 to throw fewer than 90 pitches and record at least 9.0 innings pitched in a game, joining Jeff Samardzija, who accomplished the feat for the Chicago White Sox last season on September 21st against the Detroit Tigers. Prior to Porcello, the last Red Sox pitchers to record that pitching line were Aaron Cook (6/29/12 at Seattle) and Clemens (9/10/88 vs. Cleveland). Moreover, the eight-year veteran recorded his 11th consecutive start, dating back to July 29th, in which he logged 7.0- or-more innings pitched and allowed three-or-fewer runs. The impressive stretch tied Hall of Famers Cy Young (1904) and Martinez (2000) for the longest such streak in a single season by a Red Sox pitcher. With his final win of the season on September 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays, Porcello became the first Sox pitcher to win 22 games in a season since Martinez in his Cy Young Award-winning 1999 season (23). Additionally, Boston's acquisition during the 2015 offseason finished the season with 13 consecutive quality starts, tying Martinez (2000) and Clemens (1987) for second-most in club history. Clemens (1990) and Herb Pennock (1919) pace the storied franchise with 14 straight quality starts.
Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Justin Verlander (2-1, 1.93 ERA, 32.2 IP, 48 SO) of the Tigers; Zach Britton (8 SV, 11 G, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO) and Ubaldo Jimenez (3-1, 2.31 ERA, 1 CG, 35.0 IP) of the Orioles; Ricky Nolasco (3-2, 1.85 ERA, 34.0 IP, 24 SO) of the Los Angeles Angels; Ervin Santana (1-1, 2.65 ERA, 34.0 IP, 36 SO) of the Minnesota Twins; and Collin McHugh (3-0, 3.10 ERA, 29.0 IP, 26 SO) of the Houston Astros.
The American League Pitcher of the Month, Rick Porcello, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.