08/11/2009 10:39 AM ET
Mark Buehrle named winner of the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Month Presented by Pepsi" for July
Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox was selected by fans in an online vote as the winner of the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Month Presented by Pepsi" for July, it was announced today. The award recognizes the player who performed his best when the game was on the line. Pepsi has been the "Official Soft Drink of Major League Baseball" since 1997.
The "MLB Clutch Performer of the Month Presented by Pepsi" winner is selected by the fans from a list of six nominees chosen by a special editorial panel from MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball. During the first week of each month, fans can visit a microsite powered by MLB.com specifically created for the Clutch Performer platform, pepsiclutch.mlb.com, to vote for the nominee they believe was the best Clutch Performer during the previous month. Fans can also go to the site to enter a season long sweepstakes for a trip for two to the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Buehrle went 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA over six starts in July, permitting 36 hits and just three walks with 18 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched. The 30-year-old left-hander began the month with 8.1 innings of one-run ball in a victory at Kansas City on July 2nd. The four-time All-Star tossed the 16th perfect game in modern Major League history on July 23rd against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field. Buehrle, who also pitched a no-hitter on April 18, 2007, hurled a season-high 116 pitches while striking out six in the historic performance. He became the 24th pitcher in baseball history to throw multiple no-hitters, and he is only the sixth to include a perfect game. In his first start following the perfect game on July 28th at Minnesota, Mark retired the first 17 batters he faced and set a new Major League record with 45 consecutive batters retired, breaking the previous record of 41 set by his White Sox teammate Bobby Jenks in 2007 and San Francisco's Jim Barr in 1972. In addition, he became just the fourth pitcher in the last 40 years to be perfect through 5.0 innings pitched in consecutive starts. The St. Charles, Missouri native pitched a perfect third inning in the 2009 All-Star Game in his home state at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, retiring Chase Utley, Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun. Buehrle, who was drafted by the White Sox in the 38th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, is 11-6 on the season with a 3.89 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 152.2 innings pitched.
At the conclusion of the season, fans will have the opportunity to vote on the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year Presented by Pepsi" award winner at MLB.com and the award will be presented during the Major League Baseball postseason. Last season, CC Sabathia was named the recipient of the "2008 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year Presented by Pepsi."
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