Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale became just the second pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to have 10-or more strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, joining Pedro Martinez on the list.
Martinez, who will be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame later this summer, was the first to accomplish the feat in 1999. Sale becomes the first player this millennium to do the same.
Sale joined the list in a no-decision, 12-strikeout performance on Tuesday night in a 2-1 11 inning White Sox win against the St. Louis Cardinals at Bush Stadium. Sale on Tuesday pitched eight innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and one walk. He threw 116 pitches, 81 for strikes.
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In the past eight games, Sale has pitched 60 innings, where he has struck out a total of 97 batters on 928 pitches, 640 for strikes. Also in that span, Sale has allowed just 37 hits, and walked just nine batters.
June also saw Sale total 75 strikeouts, a franchise-record for the month. Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports wrote this stat on Sale in an postage article:
"“Sale finished the month of June with a franchise-record 75 strikeouts, the most by any pitcher in a single month since Nolan Ryan struck out 87 in June, 1977, with the Angels. He is one of only four pitchers to strike out at least 75 in history, joining Sandy Koufax (76 in May, 1965), Sam McDowell (76 in May, 1968) and Ryan (five different months).”"
Here is a break down of Sale’s stats during this eight game record-tying feat:
• May 23 vs. Minnesota Twins: 10 strikeouts, 8.0 IP, 5 H (113-79)
• May 28 at Baltimore Orioles: 12 strikeouts, 7.2 IP, 4 H (120-85)
• June 3 at Texas Rangers: 13 strikeouts, 7.0 IP, 3 H (112-80)
• June 8 vs. Houston Astros: 14 strikeouts, 8.0 IP, 5 H (119-84)
• June 14 at Tampa Bay Rays: 12 strikeouts, 6.2 IP, 3 H (125-77)
• June 19 vs. Texas Rangers: 14 strikeouts, 8.0 IP, 2 H (111-74)
• June 24 at Minnesota Twins: 10 strikeouts, 6.2 IP, 9 H (112-80)
• June 30 at St. Louis Cardinals: 12 strikeouts, 8.0 IP, 6 H (116-81)
Also in this span for Sale, his ERA has went from 4.21 on May 23 down to 2.87 on June 30, while his WHIP began at 1.17 and currently is 0.91.
According to FanGraphs.com, Sale for the season has a 12.28 K/9, along with a WAR of 3.4 (it was 5.1 in 2014).
Sale’s next start for the record by himself looks to be on either Sunday, July 5 vs. the Baltimore Orioles or on Monday, July 6 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, both games at U.S. Cellular Field.