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05/05/2009 2:12 PM ET
Johan Santana of the New York Mets voted National League pitcher of the month for April
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New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana, who went 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA in the opening month of the 2009 season, has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for April.

In five starts last month, Santana posted an N.L.-leading 1.10 ERA, striking out 44 batters in his 32.2 innings (22 H, 4 ER). The New York ace did not allow more than two runs in any start and fanned at least seven in each outing. The 30-year-old Santana did not surrender an earned run in two consecutive starts (April 12th at Florida and April 18th vs. Milwaukee), spanning 14.0 innings pitched. The two-time American League Cy Young Award winner twice recorded double-digit strikeouts (13 on 4/12 at FLA and 10 on 4/24 vs. WSH). Santana did not allow a home run until his fourth start on April 24th vs. Washington, a streak of 60.0 innings, dating back to September 7, 2008 vs. Philadelphia, the second longest such streak of his career (65.0 innings spanning the 2004-05 seasons). Santana, a three-time All-Star, had made 18 straight starts without a loss dating to July 9, 2008, before a tough-luck defeat at the hands of Florida's Josh Johnson on April 12th. A native of Bolivar, Venezuela, Santana has now won consecutive N.L. Pitcher of the Month honors, as he closed the 2008 season in stellar fashion (4-0, 1.83 ERA, 47 SO). This marks Santana's seventh career monthly award; as a member of the Minnesota Twins, he captured A.L. honors in July 2003, July 2004, August 2004, September 2004 and June 2006.

Other pitchers who received receiving votes were Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley (4-0, 2.14 ERA, 34 SO); Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren (2-3, 1 CG, 1.54 ERA, 36 SO); San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell (0.00 ERA, 9 SO, 8 saves); and St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin (0.00 ERA, 9 SO, 7 saves). Johan Santana will receive a specially-designed trophy and a Sharp Aquos television to commemorate his Pitcher of the Month performance.

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