Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri (Third Time)
5 G, 3-2, 37.0 IP, 2.68 ERA, 31 SO, 11 ER
Sugano led the league with three victories (tied with two others). The three victories were a shutout, one run over eight innings, and seven shutout innings. He recorded the shutout win on May 2 against Yokohama at Tokyo Dome and became the first pitcher since Masaki Saito in 1989 to string together three shutout victories in a row. He also notched his fiftieth career victory during the win he recorded when he gave up a run over eight innings. Sugano is the first Yomiuri pitcher to record an MVP of the Month since Kazuto Taguchi in July 2016.
Dayan Viciedo, Chunichi (Second Time)
25 G, .341 AVG, 30 H, 8 HR, 25 RBI
Viciedo played in all his team’s games in May and batted .341 (fourth in the league) with eight home runs (third) and twenty-five RBI (first). His seven shukunda’s (hits that drove in the first run of the game, game-tying run, go-ahead run, come-from-behind run) were good for a first place tie. He blasted a walk-off home run against Hiroshima on May 19. Teammate Yohei Oshima won the MVP of the Month last month.
Takahiro Norimoto, Rakuten (Second Time)
4 G, 4-0, 32.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1 CG, 1 ShO, 46 SO, 8 ER
Norimoto started four games in May and led the league with four victories (tied with one other). He tossed a shutout victory against Lotte on May 10 (12 SO, 5 H, 1 BB). He struck out twelve against Orix on May 3 and Nippon Ham on May 17 and ten against Orix on May 25. Including the last four games he pitched in April (ten against Seibu on the 19th and ten against Lotte on the 26th), he recorded ten or more strikeouts in six consecutive starts.
Brandon Laird, Nippon Ham (Second Time)
23 G, .333 AVG, 27 H, 10 HR, 27 RBI
Laird batted fifth in all of his team’s games in May. He led the league in slugging (.753), RBI (twenty-seven), and home runs (ten, tied with two others) and his sixty-one totals bases were second most in the league. His team won all seven games in which he drove two or more runs. He blasted home runs in four consecutive at bats spanning two games on May 12 and 13.
Nippon Ham players have now won the award seventy-one times, tied for most in league history with Orix.
Source: NPB 6/7/2017