The pitcher of Chicago White Sox past will be facing the pitcher of White Sox present Monday night when Chris Sale and the “Good Guys” host Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field at 7:10 p.m. CT.
This past vs. present matchup comes one day following the “future” of the White Sox pitching in Carlos Rodon, who had the loss in the series finale against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday.
But for Sale and Buehrle, the comparisons will be there tonight, though their abilities are quite different from one another.
Sale (6-4) is on the brink of creating history tonight because if he is able to have 10 or more strikeouts, he’ll become the first pitcher in MLB history to do so in nine consecutive starts. Only Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez (who will be enshrined later this month) has achieved that same feat for eight consecutive starts back in 1999.
This season, Sale has a 2.87 ERA in 15 starts, just a tick above his 2.78 ERA in 180 games (100 starts) for his career. The lefty has a 6-4 record, and in his 103.1 innings pitched before Monday’s showdown, Sale has walked just 22 batters and has kept the opposition to a .206 ERA.
In those past eight starts by Sale, he’s pitched 60 innings, striking out 97 batters in that span of innings. Of the 928 pitches he’s thrown in this streak, the ace of the White Sox has thrown 640 of those pitches for strikes.
Don’t forget in the past eight starts by Sale, he’s also only given up 37 hits and walked nine, as the past eight games have been historic for fans to watch, and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Jun 26, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) throws against the Texas Rangers in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The White Sox also have one of their own returning to U.S. Cellular Field during the 10-year anniversary year of the White Sox winning the World Series in Buehrle, who was a huge part of that wire-to-wire championship run.
Now a member the Blue Jays, Buehrle is 9-4 with a 3.64 ERA, but on the road this year, his ERA is 4.25 with a 4-3 mark.
Having Buehrle back at “The Cell” should be his chance to get his “thank you” for all he did for the organization 10 years ago since he won’t be a part of the celebration later this month.
Buehrle is still going strong in the majors, even pitching above his career ERA, which is 3.81 in 502 games (477 starts).
Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago wrote this about the matchup:
"“The torch was passed, though, when Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins before the 2012 season and Sale moved into the rotation. With an overpowering fastball and sweeping slider, Sale took over as the lead dog in the White Sox rotation from Buehrle, the master of pinpoint accuracy with an ability to change speeds effectively.”"
Though it is still tough to see Buehrle in another uniform other than the White Sox, I do like this mini reunion and seeing him pitch against his former team. Though I won’t openly cheer against him, I hope the White Sox win by a 1-0 score, Sale gets his record-setting 10 strikeouts and Buehrle leaves the game to a standing ovation from the White Sox crowd.
Yes, that is a lot of wishing, but I just have so much respect for Buehrle and all he did while wearing the “SOX” cap during his 12 seasons with the White Sox. He was able to not only help bring a World Series title back to the White Sox, but he pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game, giving the fans of this club many memories to reflect on.
Tonight should be another one of those memorable nights for White Sox fans.
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