Perhaps the best pitcher in the American League -- if not all of the Majors -- Justin Verlander on Tuesday was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for June.
The big right-hander was perfect in the month, winning all six of his starts with a combined 0.92 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 49 innings. He walked six batters, tossed two complete games, and no one in the Majors threw more innings, had more strikeouts or had a lower ERA in the same span.
The complete games came in back-to-back efforts on June 14 at Cleveland in a 4-0 win and on June 19 against the Rockies in his first-ever start at Coors Field -- classically a hitters' park. Against the Indians, Verlander struck out 12 and allowed two hits in a 4-0 shutout win. Against Colorado, he scattered four hits and struck out five, allowing one run in the 9-1 victory. No other visiting pitcher has completed a game at Coors this season.
Verlander's been piling up the accolades this year. Two days ago, the 28-year-old was named to the AL All-Star team, and he's already thrown a no-hitter this season. He received AL Co-Player of the Week awards twice in 2011, sharing honors with Francisco Liriano for the week ending May 9, and with James Shields for the week ending June 20.
Verlander also had previously won AL Player of the Month Award in May 2009. Carrying an 11-3 record, a 2.32 ERA and an AL-best 130 strikeouts this season, Verlander's won seven straight starts since May 29, and hasn't taken a loss since April 27.