New York Mets reliever Seth Lugo and New York Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle won NL and AL reliever of the month awards.
Baseball is a bullpen game in 2019, and New York has an embarrassment of riches at the position right now. New York Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle was named the AL Reliever of the Month for July while the New York Mets got some love with Seth Lugo winning the award on the NL side.
Shutdown options out of the 'pen.
Tommy Kahnle and Seth Lugo are your July Relievers of the Month.
(MLB x @TheHartford) pic.twitter.com/atl46zUPIB
— MLB (@MLB) August 3, 2019
Kahnle’s excellent July was marked by allowing only one run over 12 appearances. He also struck out 17 while surrendering only five hits and two walks. He is the second Yankee to claim the award this year, with Aroldis Chapman winning it back in May.
Kahnle has thrown 45.2 innings this year, pitching to a 2.56 ERA and a sparkling 0.942 WHIP. It’s a significant upgrade from the 6.56 ERA that he struggled to last season. He has provided a stable arm to get games to Chapman in the ninth inning.
As good as Kahnle was in July, Lugo was even better, allowing zero runs in 12 appearances while surrendering only one free pass. He’s the first Met to win the award since Billy Wagner back in 2007.
Despite his stated preference of being a starter, Lugo is having a second straight excellent season out of the bullpen. After pitching to a 2.66 ERA last season, he has a 2.68 ERA this season, with a 0.969 WHIP. He’s been a Swiss Army knife for the Mets this season, working multiple innings when needed and helping to keep them within striking distance of the NL Wild Card.
July was a great month to be a New York reliever, and both men will hope to follow with more of the same in August. Both teams harbor playoff aspirations, albeit with the Yankees’ looking like the better bet to make it to October.