The National League announced its Pitcher of the Month for April yesterday, and it was Washington's Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg had a terrific month and did much to earn the award. He just didn't do as much as Lance Lynn of the St. Louis Cardinals, in my view. In fact, if the award hadn't gone to Lynn, it should have gone to his teammate, Kyle Lohse.
Let's take a look at the stats of Lynn and Strasburg, which are, admittedly, very similar. Strasburg started five games in April, posted a record of 2-0 with an ERA of 1.13. He struck out 34 on He struck out 34 in 32 innings. His WHIP was 0.88 and batters hit .195 against the Nationals' flamethrower.
By comparison, Lynn started four games and won all of them. His ERA was 1.33. He struck out 24 in 27 innings, and hitters managed to hit .176 against Lynn. Lynn topped Strasburg in a stat I consider very important: his WHIP was 0.81. Both pitchers walked six batters in April.
I know the recent trend is to discount wins by pitchers. The thinking goes that the pitcher can't control the offensive support he gets (not entirely true in the National League, by the way) and should not be penalized if he pitches well but doesn't get a win. By the key to me is the win total. If you include last night's demolishing of the Pirates, the Cardinals are now 5-0 in Lynn's starts. The pitchers produced very similar stats, so how can the fact that Lynn won twice as many games as Strasburg be discounted?
I wonder of Lynn was hurt by the great pitching of his rotation-mate Kyle Lohse. Lohse was also 4-0 in April, with an ERA of 1.62 and a WHIP rate of 0.84. Perhaps the voters split their votes between the two Cardinals and Strasburg won. Either way, Cardinals fans are happy to have two pitchers who started the year so well that they were in the discussion for the award.A native of St. Louis, Brad Boeker has rooted for the Cardinals for over 40 years.