Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale returns … same as usual
The Chicago White Sox found out the past two days that winning is a lot more fun than losing. For two of three games played at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend against the Minnesota Twins winning is what the White Sox did.
Apr 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws the ball against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Sunday was even more exciting than Saturday’s 5-4 win, because it was the return of ace Chris Sale and he was just as good as usual, with the White Sox winning over the Twins, 6-2.
The White Sox tallied 12 hits in the win, but this day was about Sale and his first start of the season after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list due to the fractured left foot.
Chicago’s left-handed ace went six strong innings where he allowed just one earned run on five hits and one walk. Sale was business as usual with eight strikeouts and he allowed no home runs.
For his career, Sale now has 737 strikeouts and 44 wins in 674.2 innings pitched.
According to JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com, Sale showed no rust:
"“With a fastball sitting between 95 and 98 miles per hour all afternoon and good command of his offspeed pitches, Sale showed no signs of rust …”"
Basically we can say Sale began from where he left off last season, and this performance was from a Cy Young award candidate who made no “official” appearances in spring training due to a foot injury suffered before it began.
Sale faced 24 batters, throwing 98 pitches (72 for strikes), while his groudouts-to-flyouts was 6-2. In the first two innings on Sunday, Sale retired six of the first seven batters he faced, two via strikeout.
The one run Sale allowed was in the top of the third off a Danny Santana double to right field which scored Eduardo Nunez. That inning Sale allowed two doubles, but after the run scored he pitched like a Cy Young award candidate should by striking out the final two batters of the inning.
In the fourth he went 1-2-3, and in the fifth he didn’t allow a run, though he faced five batters, leaving two on the bases.
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Sale’s final inning saw him retire the Twins in order on a ground out, a called third strike and a ground out, leaving to a nice obviation from the White Sox faithful in attendance.
Again, this can’t be stated enough … the White Sox wlll only go as far as Sale and Jose Abreu can take them, and Sunday Sale did his best push the White Sox to the aforementioned victory. Maybe this quick turnaround following four straight losses is what the White Sox needed.
Though these wins were against the Twins, now we can see how the White Sox can continue against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field for a two-game series, in Cleveland, starting Tuesday.
Sale’s next start will most likely be on Friday, April 17 or Saturday, April 18 at the Detroit Tigers, and if that is the case, that will be a game all White Sox fans should tune into. Remember Sale’s last start of the ’14 season?
That second start to Sale’s season will be interesting to say the least.