07/03/2004 5:55 PM ET
Pavano NL Pitcher of the Month
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- From unheralded fourth starter to the most impressive pitcher on the Marlins' young staff.
|Carl Pavano won five games following Marlins losses in June. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
Carl Pavano is blossoming into one of the top pitchers in the league.
For going 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in June, the unassuming Pavano was voted the National League Pitcher of the Month.
"I'm happy for him," catcher Mike Redmond said. "He deserves it. He's done a great job. I hope tomorrow he will find out that he is going to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career."
At 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA, Pavano very possibly could be announced as an All-Star when the squads are announced Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
In June, Pavano was a model of consistency. He struck out 31 with only five walks, allowing 27 hits in 39 1/3 innings. On June 16, the right-hander tossed a three-hit, complete-game shutout against the White Sox at Pro Player Stadium.
All five of his wins were after Marlins defeats.
"He's done a great job for us," manager Jack McKeon said. "There is no question about that. He keeps you in every game. He keeps you in there, giving you every opportunity to go out there and score.
"The thing that most impresses me is we talk about young guys, and we have a number of them on our staff, and how it takes them 'x' amount of years to finally put it all together. With him, I thought it was happening last August. I could see it coming where he just got in the groove, and it took him all these years to find out you don't have to be a power pitcher to do it."
Technically the fourth starter, Pavano finds himself overshadowed on a hard-throwing staff that includes World Series MVP Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, A.J. Burnett and animated left-hander Dontrelle Willis.
"If you asked people before the season who would be our All-Star from our staff, and you said Pavano, people would have thought you were crazy," Redmond said.
The way he spots his fastball on the corners, changing speeds from 90-93 mph, Pavano's approach this season reminds McKeon of Greg Maddux.
"He's got himself under control," McKeon said.
Pavano is the first Marlin to be named NL Pitcher of the Month since Willis did it last June.
A major reason Pavano is emerging now is because he's been healthy for two straight seasons.
He's logged at least seven innings in 13 straight starts, and has a staff high with 117 innings pitched.
"I've seemed to have gotten stronger, and I'm taking care of my body a lot better," Pavano said.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.