CINCINNATI -- Madison Bumgarner was named National League pitcher of the month for the first time, adding to a trophy case that already is overflowing for a left-handed ace who is just 24 years old.
Bumgarner was 5-0 in six starts, with 48 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA. He was third among N.L. pitchers in ERA and fifth in opponents' batting average (.203). In 39 innings, Bumgarner allowed just 28 hits. He joined Jason Schmidt (2004), Ray Sadecki (1967) and Juan Marichal (1963) as the only modern-era Giants to record at least five wins and strike out at least 48 in a month while not taking a loss.
"That's a huge honor," Bumgarner said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to get out there and pitch. I really didn't even realize (I was pitching that well). The last few starts felt really good, but I didn't even realize I was having a good month until they put it up there."
Bumgarner helped the Giants go 19-8 in May and extend their lead in the division.
The opening day starter is the first Giant to win pitcher of the month since Tim Lincecum in June, 2009. He's the first Giant to take any MLB award since Hunter Pence was player of the month last September.
In a twist, Bumgarner was joined in the honor by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was named the (position) player of the month in the National League. Bumgarner and Puig exchanged angry words at the plate when the Dodgers star pimped a homer at Dodger Stadium in early May, and afterward Bumgarner provided one of the best quotes of the month.
"I was just congratulating him," Bumgarner said on May 9, trying to hide a smile. "It was a really good hit. It was impressive. Again, I don't know why everybody got so mad. It escalated quickly for no reason. I think he said 'Thank you.' I'm not sure if he did.
"I don't speak Spanish very well."
On Tuesday, Bumgarner said it was "funny how it worked out" with the two winning the National League's monthly awards.
"Maybe we can take a picture together," he said.