A White Sox Pitcher will start the All-Star Game for the first time since Mark Buehrle in 2005. Sale’s 14 wins at the All-Star break are the most since Ubaldo Jimenez was 15-1 at the 2010 break. He and Jimenez are the only pitchers with 14 wins at the break since 2003.
Sale was historically dominant in his first nine starts. He won all nine with a 1.58 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP and a .163 batting average against. He was the first White Sox pitcher since Eddie Cicotte in 1919 to win his first nine starts and the first MLB Pitcher to do so since Brandon Webb in 2008. Only two other pitchers have won their first nine starts, Sal Maglie started 9-0 with the Giants in 1952 and Andy Hawkins 10-0 in 1985 with San Diego.
Sale’s start will give Chicago fans plenty to talk about. The National League lineup will have Cubs second basemen Ben Zobrist hitting leadoff and third baseman Kris Bryant third. If Sale pitches into the second, he would face Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is hitting ninth for the NL.
The 14 wins at the break are the most by a White Sox pitcher since at least 1999. That’s as far back as MLB has first half pitching stats by team. Sale’s 14 wins top his team leading 13 for all of last season.
This isn’t his best first half. In 2012, Sale was 10-2 with a 2.19 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in 102 innings. Sale is on pace to become the Major’s first 25 game winner since Bob Welch won 27 for the three-time American League champion Oakland A’s in 1990. He is also on pace to get the most wins for a White Sox pitcher since LaMarr Hoyt had 24 for the 1983 American League West Champions.
Sale’s fifth straight All-Star Game makes him the first pitcher White Sox history to make the All-Star game his first five years as a starter. BIlly Pierce is the only other White Sox starting pitcher to be named to five straight.
Pierce was named to the All-Star team from 1955-59. He was named to seven All-Star teams in nine years between 1953 and 1961. He is also the first White Sox player to be named to five straight All-Star games since Frank Thomas. from 1993-97.
Pierce was named to the AL All-Star team from 1955-59. He was as All-Star seven times in nine years between 1953 and 1961. He is also the first White Sox player to be named to five straight All-Star games since Frank Thomas. from 1993-97.
Sale has a long way to go to reach Nellie Fox’s team record of 15 All-Star appearances. Sale has three more years left on his contract. Barring injury or an unlikely poor first half, Sale should surpass Pierce’s White Sox record of seven appearances by a pitcher.