June 1st, 2009

Verlander up for Clutch Performer of the Month

Justin Verlander’s dominant May earned him a nomination as one of six finalists for the MLB Clutch Performer of the Month award. The final part of the process is up to fans, who have a chance to vote for their choice online at pepsiclutch.mlb.com.

The other five candidates are Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera, Rays speedster Carl Crawford, Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, Angels center fielder Torii Hunter and Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

It’s a strong field, but Verlander has the numbers — and the Tigers have the success — to earn votes. He went 5-0 in six May starters with a 1.52 ERA, scattering 26 hits over 41 1/3 innings with 11 walks and 56 strikeouts, including his shutout of the Indians May 8 and three consecutive starts with at least 11 strikeouts.