There's still plenty time left in the month of July. However, most of the month has passed and that means that we can start looking at who might win some of the individual honors that are bestowed on players monthly. One of the awards that is handed out in each league is the Pitcher of the Month Award. Michael Wacha, a Starting Pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, is as good a pick as any to win the award in the National League.

Wacha's accomplishments so far

If Wacha wins then it will certainly come out of the blue. Both May and June were very poor for this starting pitcher. During those months, he had ten starts combined and gave up 30 runs in just under 50 innings pitched.

He also gave up 22 walks in those months despite going 2-2 for wins and losses.

However, July has been a totally different story for Wacha. In his three starts this month, he is 3-0. Furthermore, Wacha has a complete game from his last outing, the only complete game of his entire career. He has lowered his ERA to 3.71 in the season and he has improved his record to 7-3 overall. His ERA in the month of July is 0.87. Furthermore, it's not like he has powered up against the weak teams in the majors this month.

To start the month, he blanked the Washington Nationals through six innings. In his second start, he was effective against the tricky Miami Marlins. His complete game was only against the New York Mets, but it was a road game for Wacha and the Cardinals.

All things considered, he has done well despite what has to be called above-average difficulty in terms of competition caliber.

Next up for Wacha is the red-hot Chicago Cubs in a game that will come from Wrigley Field. The Cubs have been excellent since the All-Star break, finally starting to play like the team that everyone was expecting during the pre-season.

If Wacha can get a win without allowing many runs then he could emerge as the favorite for NL's Pitcher of the Month Award. He could also help his team get back in the pennant race as matters are tight in the NL Central.

Cubs will send Quintana

The Cubs will counter with Jose Quintana on Sunday, a pitcher making his second start since being traded for.

Quintana enjoyed success in his only previous start with the Cubs and the game on Sunday looks tough for the Cards. However, winning a prestigious award like the Pitcher of the Month requires some push to separate one's self from the competition.

If Wacha can beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field and hold them to few earned runs, he would likely head into a start very late in the month with a good chance of winning the NL's top monthly pitching award.

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