Winners of the Central and Pacific League “Players of the Month” Awards were announced. Hanshin pitcher Randy Messenger (35) won the Central League award for the second time in his career, his first since July 2013. He leads the league with 4 wins and 37 strikeouts. He becomes the third Hanshin import player to become a two-time winner, after Randy Bass and Jason Standridge.
He contributed to his team’s success with 4 wins in 5 starts, and was also the Opening Day pitcher for the third consecutive season. He’s a big reason the team currently finds itself in first place.
He expressed his gratitude for his teammates countless times in his acceptance speech. “It’s not like you get that opportunity very often. It’s thanks to my teammates. They always let me pitch with a lead. That makes pitching a lot easier. Thanks to them I was able to relax and throw my game.” As for the clubhouse atmosphere, he said, “It’s pretty good. The hitters and pitchers are all doing their jobs well.”
Messenger talked about his hopes for the team earning a pennant this season, saying, “I just gotta believe in myself and keep doing the things I’ve been doing up until now. I have personal goals, but more than anything I just want to win it all. I want to throw deep into games to give my team a chance to win.”
Chunichi Dragons outfielder Yohei Ohshima won the Hitter of the Month award for the first time in his career. He led the league with a .372 average and 42 hits. With his 41 hits in April, he became the first player since August 2015 (Tateoka of the Yomiuri Giants) to amass 40 or more hits in a single month.