Despite the Chicago White Sox failing to make a dent in the standings for the third consecutive year, the final week of the season provided two great historical events. On Thursday night, the slugging first baseman for the White Sox Jose Abreu became just the second player ever (first in the American League) to have consecutive seasons of 30 or more home runs and 100 or more runs batted in to begin a career when he singled off Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Hochevar to bring in Tyler Flowers and Adam Eaton late in the game. The first player to accomplish the feat was Albert Pujols, leaving Abreu with some good company in that extremely exclusive club. When the White Sox signed Abreu out of Cuba prior to the 2014 season, some scouts questioned whether his bat would be able to catch up to the speed of major league pitching. Those questions have undoubtedly been answered to the tune of history for the second consecutive year. (Last year he became the first rookie to finish top-3 in each of the triple crown categories.) Abreu is obviously one of the top first basemen in the league and a cornerstone to this franchise.
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Speaking of this franchise, Chris Sale set an all-time White Sox record Friday night against the Detroit Tigers when he struck out catcher James McCann in the second inning for strikeout number 270 on the season, eclipsing Ed Walsh‘s record of 269 which had stood for over a century. What makes the record even more impressive is that Sale completed his in 203.0 innings as opposed to the 464.0 Walsh needed to set the now-outdated record way back in 1908. It should also be remembered that Sale did not have a spring training following a broken foot jumping off a truck so his first month of the season was essentially him getting his feet wet for the year. If not for that incident Sale could have been looking at 300 strikeouts as opposed to the mere 270 he achieved during a chilly Friday night game in October.
With Sale as the ace and Abreu manning first for the foreseeable future, the Southsiders have two of the best players in the major leagues and should not balk at any notion to improve the club around them in order to have those two playing postseason baseball during the primes of their respective careers.
Which of the records do you find more impressive? Let us know below!