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Max Scherzer wins NL Pitcher of the Month for June

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Today, Major League Baseball announced its monthly award winners for the month of June. As expected, Nationals starter Max Scherzer won Pitcher of the Month in the American League. His AL counterpart was Gerrit Cole of the Astros.

Scherzer’s June was historically great. He went 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a 68/5 K/BB ratio across 45 innings. He’s just the fourth pitcher in the modern era to post a 1.00 ERA or lower with at least 68 strikeouts in a single calendar month. The other three are Pedro Martínez (0.86 ERA, 71 strikeouts in September/October 1999), Roger Clemens (0.90 ERA, 68 strikeouts in August 1998), and Randy Johnson (0.92 ERA, 68 strikeouts in June 1997). Scherzer, by the way, made three of his six June starts after breaking his nose during a bunting drill.

Cole, no slouch himself, went 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA and a 49/10 K/BB ratio in 38 innings in June.

The other monthly award winners:

Players of the Month

  • AL: IF DJ LeMahieu, Yankees: .395/.434/.658, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 26 R in 122 PA
  • NL: OF Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: .412/.441/.835, 10 HR, 25 RBI, 30 R in 102 PA

Rookies of the Month

  • AL: OF/DH Yordan Álvarez, Astros: .317/.406/.733, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 12 R in 69 PA
  • NL: 1B Pete Alonso, Mets: .307/.435/.653, 9 HR, 21 RBI, 20 R in 124 PA

Relievers of the Month

  • AL: Liam Hendriks, Athletics: 0.60 ERA, 2 SV, 22/4 K/BB in 15 IP
  • NL: Josh Hader, Brewers: 0.68 ERA, 7 SV, 25/4 K/BB in 13 1/3 IP

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.