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Atlanta Braves’ Jair Jurrjens Named NL Pitcher of the Month

June 2nd, 2011 at 7:15 AM
By Cody Fields

After missing most of 2010 with injuries, Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens has come back even better than before and has been named the National League’s Pitcher of the Month for May.

Jurrjens posted a 5-1 record with a miniscule 1.65 ERA in May. He struck out 24 batters while walking only six 43 ? innings. Opposing hitters only compiled a .250 average with runners in scoring position.

“It’s an honor,” Jurrjens said on “It’s not easy to be a starting pitcher in this league. I went out there and knew the bullpen needed a rest. I just made sure I kept my pitch count down and stay deeper in the game.”

The 25-year-old pitcher has also altered his grip on his two-seam fastball and is generally throwing a couple miles per hour softer than last year, resulting in more control and pitching to contact.

"Just trying to throw strikes; it's not easy for a team coming off a day off," Jurrjens said after beating the Pirates on May 24. "You try to take advantage of a team like that by throwing strikes and letting them get themselves out.

That also shows that on his way to a majors leading 1.51 ERA, Jurrjens is only giving up 1.5 walks per nine innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is through the roof at 3.45.

So far this season, Jurrjens has allowed two earned runs or fewer and pitched six innings or more in all of his nine starts. Only Lefty Gomez (1937), Randy Johnson (2000) and Ubaldo Jimenez (2010) have accomplished the feat before.

Jurrjens’ next start will come Saturday as the Braves visit the New York Mets.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Jair Jurrjens, MLB

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