Chicago White Sox and Cubs lock up reliever of the month awards

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks and Chicago Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera both received the AL and NL reliever of the month awards.

The Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs both find themselves with very good bullpens.

Liam Hendriks

Hendriks, 32, the Australian-born closer for the White Sox has been outstanding for them this season, especially in May. This month, Hendriks appeared in 13 games and pitched 11 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, two walks, zero home runs, and zero earned runs. Hendriks improved his ERA from 3.97 to 2.05 in May. He recorded eight saves in the month in his 13 appearances.

This season, Hendriks has played in 23 games and pitched in 22 innings. In that span, he has a 2.05 ERA, 36 strikeouts, and a 0.818 WHIP. Hendriks has been a vital piece to the Sox bullpen after he recently signed a three-year $54 million contract with the Sox this past season. Last year, Hendriks won the Mariano Riveria reliever of the year award with the Oakland Athletics.

Hendriks has won the reliever of the month of the award in June 2019 and August of 2020. Both times he won those awards with the Athletics.

Ryan Tepera

Tepera, 33, will record his first reliever of the month award with his award for May. This is the reliever’s second season with the Cubs. This season, Tepera has an empty record of 0-0 through 26 games played and 25.2 innings pitched. He has recorded a 2.45 ERA this season with one save, 30 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.701.

In May, Tepera made 14 appearances and pitched 14 2/3 innings. He recorded seven holds, one save, and blew just one save. He allowed just three hits, one earned run, zero walks, zero home runs, and struck out 19 batters. He improved his ERA from 5.06 to begin the month to 2.45, after recording a 0.61 ERA in May.

Tepera helped the Cubs with a record of 11-3 in games that he came in to pitch for them. The Cubs are 8-2 in their last 10 games and 12-3 in their last 15 games. He made his first appearance in June on Tuesday night versus the San Diego Padres. He allowed zero runs in one inning, striking out one and walking one of the four batters he faced.

Chicago Baseball

The last time the award was given to the two relievers from the same city was in July of 2019 when Yankees’ reliever Tommy Kahnle and Mets’ pitcher Seth Lugo both took home the award. The winning of two Chicago relievers goes to show the strength of both baseball teams thus far.

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The Cubs are leading the NL Central by 0.5 games over the St. Louis Cardinals with a record of 31-23. The White Sox are leading the AL Central by 2.5 games over the Cleveland Indians with a record of 33-22. Both teams are the only two teams in the MLB with 20+ wins at home this season.