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.

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Well buoyed by a sterling 10-4 home record, the club went 17-11 for the month of May. They were 7-6 on the road for the month. In the division we were 8-7 and are now 11-10 on the season.

MVP for the month has to go to JV with EJ a close second. Justin simply found himself this past month and looks like a new guy. In terms of hitting we saw Mags getting back to form with a 15 game hit streak. Still not hitting for power or pulling the ball but a 15 game streak is a 15 game streak.

Miggy came back to earth a little losing about 20 points on his average. Curtis came up with 6 homers and about 20 points on his average. Binge also came back to earth but is showing some resurgence. Unfortuantely Gerald Laird suffered during the month losing points on his average.

So as we head into June what will we have to look forward to? Return of Bondo. Decision on D Train. Decision on Carlos. And hopefully some hitting from Polly. We have 28 games in June, five with the Whitesox (including a DH) and 15 interdiv. games. We usually do well there (except for that World Series thing a few years ago when nobody could make a decent throw to a base. I digress.)

So if we can do a 16-12 type of month with 3-2 against CWS then I’m happy. That puts us at 11 games above .500 and 14-12 in the division. We get to that point we can start looking around for the cast-offs from other teams.

*Today’s loss to the Yanks wasn’t very clutch… (*The evil New York fan comment!*) Just kidding: Verlander’s still a monster.

http://jquist.mlblogs.com

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