There is no secret that Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale is pitching at a Cy Young level, and maybe I’m showing a little bias, but I believe he should be the frontrunner for the AL award as August winds down and September arrives.
Remember, Sale overcame a foot injury from the night before spring training officially began, and since the season has begun, in 24 starts, No. 49 has built an ERA of 3.34 with a 12-7 record and a WHIP of 1.06 in 164.1 innings.
This season, Sale has tallied 222 strikeouts, surpassing his 208 from the ’14 season in 26 starts.
What I like about Sale this season is most times when he steps on the mound, he dominates the opposition, reminding many of Hall of Famer Randy Johnson with his style of pitching this season.
The left-handed Sale on Friday night had 14 strikeouts against the Seattle Mariners, and in his start before that vs. the rival Chicago Cubs, Sale struck out 15 batters, giving Sale 29 strikeouts in his past 14 innings on the mound.
Also, in those two starts, he’s allowed just five hits, including a one-hitter vs. the Cubs, who are one of the top teams in the NL.
Sale thus far this season has been the most impressive and consistent player on the White Sox and the most enjoyable pitcher to watch in all of baseball. Opponents are hitting just .221 against him in ’15.
Here is a fact about Sale that really stands out … in his past 20 starts, he’s had no fewer than six strikeouts in a game, with that streak starting on May 6 vs. the Detroit Tigers.
In that span of starts, Sale has pitched double-digit strikeout games 12 times. In the month of August alone, Sale has totaled 45 strikeouts.
With the way Sale is pitching this past month and season, the month of September will be huge for the AL Cy Young candidate. Last season, Sale was third in the voting, but with the way he’s making opponents strike out in ’15, Sale has to be catching the attention of the Cy Young Award voters. If they haven’t noticed Sale … well, that would be a strikeout on their part.
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