07/03/09 8:35 PM ET
Lincecum wins NL Pitcher of the Month
Giants ace tallied three complete games in June
By Andrew Pentis / MLB.com
Major League Baseball made the announcement Friday, honoring Lincecum's six June starts, in which he went 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA.
"I've [taken] a couple steps [forward] for myself the last month or so," Lincecum said just a few minutes after the Big Unit broke the big news. "I'm just trying to give my team a chance to win. To be rewarded for that is great."
Lincecum became the first Giant to receive the monthly honor since Jason Schmidt's month of May in 2006.
One desired result of the young right-hander's success: Lincecum recorded his first three complete games of the season in his last four starts. That directly contributed to him throwing 48 2/3 innings. Working out the math in his head -- assuming a pitcher would like to pitch seven innings in the five starts he usually gets per month -- Lincecum relented.
"I guess that does seem like a lot," he said.
Lincecum finished the month Monday with a two-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals. He limited one Albert Pujols to a single base-knock.
"He wants to be the guy to complete a game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his ace. "That's the mentality you want your starters to have."
The Colorado Rockies' Aaron Cook (5-1, 2.36 ERA) and Huston Street (11 saves, 2.13 ERA), the Washington Nationals' John Lannan (3-0, 2.19 ERA), the Arizona Diamondbacks' Dan Haren (3-1, 1.64 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves' Tommy Hanson (4-0, 2.48 ERA) also received votes for the award.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.