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Top Five Pitchers in the Month of September 2012

Yahoo Contributor Network

As baseball's playoff races neared the finish line, pitchers like Kris Medlen, Homer Bailey, and Justin Verlander excelled to lead their teams into the postseason. They highlight the top pitchers in the majors for the month of September.

Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies:

Cliff Lee made six starts and gave up only five earned runs in a brilliant month of September. In his best month of the season, Lee tallied the second most innings in the majors with 43.1. He lowered his season ERA from 3.67 to 3.12 and collected ten-plus strikeouts twice to bring his season total to 200. In addition to his 44 strikeouts, Lee walked only three batters all month for a remarkable 14.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves:

Medlen led the Braves to six more wins in September. The Braves extended their winning streak in Medlen starts to 23, establishing a new Major League record. Medlen maintained a 1.26 ERA in 43 innings in the month. He struck out an MLB-leading 46 including a 13 strikeout game against the Nationals and a 12 strikeout game against the Rockies. He concludes the regular season with a 1.57 ERA, .529 opponents' OPS, and 5.22 K/BB ratio in 138 innings.

Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds:

Bailey finished his month in dramatic fashion, tossing MLB's seventh no-hitter of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 28. The no-hitter capped a great month for the Reds' 26-year-old righty. He posted a 2.01 ERA and tossed the most innings in the majors with 44.2 to help Cincinnati clinch the NL Central. Opponents batted just .149 and managed a .453 OPS against Bailey in September.

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers:

Verlander added to his latest Cy Young bid with 42 great innings in September. Verlander led the Tigers to five wins in six starts as they closed in on the AL Central title. He struck out 41 against ten walks and finished September with a 1.93 ERA, his lowest of any month in the season. His regular season ends with a 2.64 ERA, .217 opponents' average, and 239 strikeouts in 238.1 innings.

Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves:

After a difficult start to the year, Minor closed out his regular season in outstanding fashion. In five September starts, he pitched 31 innings and registered a 0.87 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 3.11 K/BB ratio. Among all pitchers with at least 20 innings in September, Minor allowed the fewest runs (three) and the lowest OPS (.413). He entered the month with a season ERA of 4.79 and lowered it to 4.12.

Sources:

Statistics obtained from Baseball-Reference.com. Yahoo! Sports, and ESPN.com

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