Chris Sale continued his return to form with yet another All-Star caliber performance on Monday night with the ace of the Chicago White Sox staff picking the team up once again, this time against the Houston Astros.
The White Sox ace pitched eight innings, where he struck out a season-high 14 batters, lowering his ERA to 3.04 for the year. On Monday, Sale allowed just five hits and one earned run. He also walked one and gave up no home runs.
Am I getting ahead of myself by saying I believe Sale is the best pitcher in the American League? With all due respect to Corey Kluber and others, I believe Sale was the best pitcher last season, and right now I have that same belief.
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Sale is really pitching up to an All-Star level yet again, and hopefully this year he doesn’t have to rely on a fan vote to get himself in. Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals (and the manager of the AL All-Star team) should be taking note that Sale deserves an All-Star honor for the fourth time in his career.
The White Sox offense got Sale the lead in the second inning off a Melky Cabrera single to score Adam LaRoche. In the bottom of the fourth after the Astros tied the game at 1-1, Avisail Garcia hit a two-run home run to also plate Jose Abreu for the eventual 3-1 lead.
Was this the perfect type of game for the White Sox?
Jun 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (21) and relief pitcher David Robertson (30) congratulate each other at the end of their game against Houston Astros at U.S Cellular Field. The White Sox beat the Astros 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
There was the eight innings from Sale where he had the aforementioned 14 strikeouts, plus the lone run allowed. Add that with the three runs of offense, and having David Robertson come into the ninth and slam the door shut for the save … what more can a White Sox fan ask for on a Monday night?
In five of his eight innings pitched Sale struck out two batters. This is the type of baseball the White Sox need on the other four starts when Sale isn’t on the mound, especially when Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana are pitching, and even Carlos Rodon as the season grows older.
The White Sox have four very solid pitchers in the rotation, and even at time five when John Danks is at his best, and with just 25 wins this season nothing seems to all add up correctly on most days.
Monday was one of those days where nearly everything went right for a White Sox team needing to gain some type of positive consistent momentum as the middle of June nears. All of us need to realize the White Sox just held a 34-win team to just a single run and five total hits.
Though the White Sox are still five games under the .500 mark (25-30), they are still in the thick of things in the AL Central … IF … they can start playing baseball like they did on Monday on a consistent basis, the days when Sale isn’t on the mound and adding to his young White Sox legacy.