While the White Sox clearly won’t be postseason contenders this season, Chris Sale keeps dealing. Dealt his way right into the record books Tuesday night, in fact, with Baltimore standing in his way of owning history on Sunday. Giving up only Grichuk’s souvenir that traveled into Big Mac Land and six lowly hits in 8 innings of work, Chris Sale chucked 116 pitches – 81 for strikes. Catcher Tyler Flowers, in fact, will probably curse the Sword of Damocles when Sale doesn’t strikeout 10 batters. Chicago grabbed the 2-1 win in 11 frames as Jhonny Peralta became victim #10 in Chris Sale’s record-tying night.
Sale even contributed at the plate, cracking a single and eventually scoring on Jose Abreu’s deep single in the 4th. But the 45,626 Busch Stadium fans remained awestruck as the 6’6″, 180 pound Sale delivered 12 swinging strike threes, further adding to his major-league leading percentage in that category. For the game, Sale delivered 23 swinging strikes which, if you’re big on math, was 28.3 percent of the strikes he threw. Anyone interested in pursuing Chris Sale via trade had better prepare for the sale of the century, my friends, because this Florida native is creeping up on Clayton Kershaw in left-handed pitcher value – and could soon overtake him.
Fanning every Cardinals player at least once, Chris Sale received yet another no-decision for his efforts. That makes him 0-2 with four total runs of support over his last four starts, shedding light on Chicago’s weak hitting and inability to close games. Daniel Webb (1-0) went 2/3 of an inning to grab the win while David Robertson worked a scoreless 11th for his 16th save. Miguel Socolovich (2-1) took the loss in relief, giving up Tyler Flowers’ 6th homer while fanning two.
When Chris Sale takes the mound Sunday, he’ll face an Orioles team that’s fifth in team strikeouts (630) and 14th in total hits (672), so chances are good he’ll grab the record, barring any setbacks. His last game against Baltimore? Only 7.2 innings, 4 hits and 12K’s. Baltimore, as a team, has never fared well, with 33K’s in 94 at-bats against Sale, with only three homers and a paltry 21 hits against the lefty.
White Sox will probably be sellers since they’ve accumulated an almost unrecoverable -80 run differential, which is second only to Philadephia’s -127. However, at 26, Chris Sale will probably become the epicenter of Rick Hahn’s rebuilding project, so don’t expect his services to go cheaply, if at all. Hahn also recently commented on the Sox’s inability to produce after grabbing Melky, Robertson and Shark, claiming everyone is in this together. So yes, Ventura will probably go first.
Until the theatrics start, fans will gladly pay for Chris Sale starts, provided he keeps dealing. He’ll attempt to break his tie with Pedro Martinez’s 1999 historic run of 10K games Sunday, so stay tuned.
[Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]