OKLAHOMA CITY, OK--(Marketwire - Jan 15, 2013) - Farmers Insurance, presenting sponsor of the annual Warren Spahn Award, will join with Oklahoma City's Bricktown Rotary Club to present the 2012 Warren Spahn Award to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Gio Gonzalez, left-handed pitcher of Washington Nationals will receive the award at the Warren Spahn Award Gala on January 17 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City. The award will be presented to Gonzalez by Farmers Assistant Vice President of Auto Central Zone Bonnie Dezii and Bricktown Rotary Club President Bill Hickman.
Gonzalez became the first pitcher since 1918 to have three consecutive appearances in which he finished a start with at least six shutout innings and no more than two hits allowed.
Gonzalez set a Washington Nationals record when he pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings that ended on April 29, 2012. When the 2012 MLB All-Star Game roster was announced on July 1, Gonzalez found himself on it for the second time in his career. Later that same day, he earned his 11th win on the season after the Nationals topped the Atlanta Braves, 8-4. Gonzalez would earn one more win in his last start before the All-Star break, pushing his record to 12-3 and lowering his ERA to 2.92, and in doing so, was tied for the most number of wins on the first half of the season. His win total tied a Nationals record set in 2005 by Liván Hernández.
"Farmers Insurance is a leading U.S. insurer of auto, homes and small businesses, and a top supporter of charitable, educational and athletic endeavors," said Dezii. "We are proud to help recognize and honor excellence in athletics, and congratulate Gio Gonzalez."
On August 8, 2012, Gonzalez hit his first career home run off Houston Astros pitcher Armando Galarraga and pitched his second career complete game. On August 31, Gonzalez pitched his first career shutout in a 10-0 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals. When Gonzalez and the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers on September 22, it moved his record to 20-8 and he became the first pitcher in the MLB to reach the 20-win mark on the season. He finished the regular season with a major league best 21 wins, to go along with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts, winning the 2012 Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in the majors.
Warren Spahn, one of the best left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball history, played his entire 21-year baseball career in the National League. He won 20 games each in 13 seasons, including a 23-7 record when he was age 42. Spahn was the 1957 Cy Young Award winner, and was the runner-up three times, all during the period when just one award was given. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. Spahn won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history, and more than any other pitcher who played his entire career in the post-1920 live-ball era.
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