In the first month as a full-fledged, non-restricted starting pitcher since he underwent Tommy John surgery in fall 2010, Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg has re-emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Today, he was formally recognized as such, winning the National League Pitcher of the Month award.
Strasburg leads the NL with 34 strikeouts against six walks, and his 1.13 ERA ranks second in the majors to Joe Saunders (who, coincidentally, is the Diamondbacks starting pitcher tonight at Nationals Park). Strasburg has yet to allow a home run in 32 innings, largely because 74.2 percent of his at-bats have resulted in groundballs or strikeouts. His 5.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks ninth in the majors.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m capable of,” Strasburg said. “A lot can change. It’s a good start, a good month. I’m just really trying not to put too much pressure on myself.”
Strasburg has been dominant in all five of starts, allowing one, zero, two, zero and one earned runs while throwing at least six innings. No opponent has managed more than six hits against him. He has a 0.88 WHIP, allowing less than one base runner per inning.
Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox won the American League award. While Strasburg was growing up in San Diego, Peavy, a long-time Padres ace, was his favorite player.
Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann also receive votes for the award, one of eight pitchers who did.