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A’s Manaea, Nationals’ Scherzer named AL, NL Pitchers of the Month for April

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

Sean Maaea pitching to the plate 2016 photo By Jrchun - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Max Scherzer throwing plateward 2015 photo by David on Flickr via wikipedia commons

 

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea has been voted American League Pitcher of the Month for his efforts in March and April, and Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for the opening month-plus of the 2018 season.

In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, Sean Manaea and Max Scherzer will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.

Manaea compiled a 4-2 record with a 1.03 ERA and 37 strikeouts over six starts to earn his first career AL Pitcher of the Month Award and the first for an A’s hurler since southpaw Rich Hill in May 2016. Sean tossed his first career no-hitter and permitted just 20 hits, four home runs and seven free passes across 43.2 innings pitched. Among qualified AL starting pitchers, the 26-year-old finished his outstanding month first in ERA, tied for first in wins and second in innings pitched, while also limiting opposing batters to the fewest hits.

In a home contest on April 21st against the 17-2 (.895) Boston Red Sox, Manaea tossed the seventh no-hitter in Oakland history and the 12th in franchise history. It was the first no-hitter in the Majors since Edinson Vólquez recorded his no-no for the Miami Marlins on June 3rd of last season, and the first for the A’s since Dallas Braden’s Mother’s Day perfect game on May 9, 2010 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Entering their tilt against the A’s, the Red Sox paced the Majors in runs per game (6.5). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Oakland’s Dave Stewart, who shut down the Toronto Blue Jays on June 29, 1990, was the last pitcher to log a no-hitter against a team that led MLB in runs per game. In addition, Boston possessed the highest winning percentage of any team to be no-hit in Major League history (minimum: five games played). The Indiana native needed just 108 pitches to complete his outing and logged a season-best 10 punchouts. The left-hander became the third pitcher in franchise history to log at least 10 strikeouts in a no-hitter, joining Stewart (1990) and Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter (1968). Manaea followed up his brilliant performance by limiting the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros to zero earned runs to go along with seven punchouts on April 27th at Minute Maid Park. The 34th overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft (by Kansas City) enters play today having not allowed more than two earned runs in any start this season.

Six-time All-Star Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.36 ERA, 39.2 IP, 48 SO) of the Houston Astros also posted a strong month of April. In 11 regular season starts with Houston dating back to last September, the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner has compiled a 9-0 record with a 1.22 ERA and 91 strikeouts across 73.2 innings. The 2017 American League Championship Series MVP is the second pitcher in Club history to start his Houston career with a nine-game regular season winning streak, joining Roger Clemens, who began his Astros career 9-0 during his National League Cy Young Award-winning 2004 season. Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (4-1, 2.18 ERA, 45.1 IP, 47 SO) of the Cleveland Indians; All-Star Gerrit Cole (2-1, 1.73 ERA, 41.2 IP, 61 SO) and Charlie Morton (4-0, 1.72 ERA, 36.2 IP, 45 SO) of the Astros; and closers Craig Kimbrel (1-1, 0.77 ERA, 12 G, 15 SO) of the Boston Red Sox and the American League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford Edwin Díaz (14 G, 0.63 ERA, 14 SV, 27 SO) of the Seattle Mariners.

Scherzer compiled a 5-1 record with 57 strikeouts, nine walks and a 1.62 ERA to claim his fourth career NL Pitcher of the Month Award, last winning with the Nationals in June 2017. The right-handed pitcher limited opposing batters to just two home runs and 23 hits across 39.0 innings pitched in six starts. Among qualified NL starters, Max finished the month first in strikeouts and wins, second in innings pitched, and third in ERA.

On April 9th against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Scherzer tossed his fifth career complete-game shutout and the first of the 2018 season. The five-time All-Star logged 10 strikeouts, did not permit a walk and surrendered just two hits to lead the Nationals to a 2-0 victory over Atlanta. It was the 19th outing of his career in which he registered at least 10 strikeouts and did not allow an earned run. Those 19 starts are tied for ninth all-time, and second among active Major Leaguers, trailing only fellow three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (23) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his home start against the Colorado Rockies on April 14th, the 33-year-old veteran earned his third win of the season with 7.0 innings of two-run ball. The hard-throwing right-hander retired his final 20 batters in a row and limited the Rockies to just one hit and two walks while recording 11 punchouts. Since making his Major League debut in 2008, Scherzer, who also notched 10 punchouts in his final start of the month on April 25th, paces all Major League hurlers in games with at least 10 punchouts. The 11th overall selection of the 2006 MLB Draft has done so four times thus far this season, and has 68 such outings over the course of his storied career. In addition, the Missouri native was the 13th pitcher in MLB history to record at least 10 strikeouts in three of the Club’s first 15 games of a season. Overall, Washington’s ace is off to the most prolific start in Nationals/Expos history, becoming the first starter to record at least 57 strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA in the season’s opening month.

Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included All-Star starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84 ERA, 32.0 IP, 26 SO) of the San Francisco Giants; the National League Reliever of the Month presented by The Hartford Josh Hader (18.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 4 SV, 39 SO) of the Milwaukee Brewers; and starter Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.25 ERA, 40.0 IP, 55 SO) of the Arizona Diamondbacks.