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Miller nabs May Pitching Performance honor

Cardinals rookie garners 51 percent of vote after retiring 27 straight Rockies

Shelby Miller has had a fantastic start to his rookie season. One-third of the way through, the St. Louis Cardinals phenom has already won six games, and he has gone at least 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each of his 11 starts.

Miller, 22, leads the National League with a 1.82 ERA, and with 51 percent of the vote on, he is the May winner of the Pitching Performance of the Month presented by Head & Shoulders for his dominance over the Colorado Rockies on May 10.

Miller allowed a leadoff single to Eric Young, but subsequently retired 27 straight Rockies. Miller struck out 13 in his first career shutout.

"This was definitely the best game I've ever thrown," Miller said after the game. "This was a start I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Miller beat out three other nominees who were selected at the end of May by an editorial panel. Miller was followed by his fellow one-hit wonders, Matt Harvey of the Mets (42 percent), Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers (four percent) and Chris Sale of the White Sox (one percent).

The percentage of votes each nominee received was indicative of the number of strikeouts each pitcher threw, descending from Miller's 13 to Sale's seven, reflecting the spirit of the award, which is all about strikeout magic.

Miller continued his dominance through the month of May, going 2-1 and striking out 32 batters while only walking six. In his first start in June, Miller went seven strong innings, allowing just six hits and striking out seven without surrendering a run.

At this point, Miller being named to the NL All-Star team is probable, and winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award is possible. Miller would be the first NL starting pitcher to win the award since Dontrelle Willis in 2003. To do so, Miller will have to continue to put together quality outings like he did in May.

The Pitching Performance of the Month Award is part of the ongoing "Season of the #Whiff" campaign. In addition to voting for the monthly award, you can be part of the Season of the #Whiff campaign around the clock. See a whiff, tweet a #Whiff to @HSforMen, and you will have a chance to win cool prizes from your favorite team.

Pete Barrett is a contributor to
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