MLB announced today that Masahiro Tanaka had won the American League pitcher of the month for May. He is the first Yankees rookie to win a Pitcher of the Month Award since the award's inception in 1979. In six starts in May, Tanaka went 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA, 2.21 FIP with 42 strikeouts and only six walks in 43 innings. Batters hit .229/.259/.312/.571 against him and he surrendered only two home runs. Tanaka is the first Yankee with at least 40 strikeouts and five wins in May since Whitey Ford did the same in 1963.
Here's how batters fared against him in May:
If you recall, I wrote a piece documenting how the Cubs were able to find some success against Tanaka - they handed him his only loss so far this season and in that post, I showed that they had the most success, like most major league batters, with pitches that were left over the plate.
As for Tanaka, after finding out he won the award, told reporters, "I haven't been fully successful yet."
If this isn't fully successful, I cannot wait to see what is.