All-Star pitches dominant performance on Saturday and records 15th victory. Sale was stellar after a poor outing against the Miami Marlins.
The White Sox entered their game on Saturday against the Oakland Athletics losers of another poor James Shields outing. After Shields put more stress on the White Sox bullpen on Friday, Chris Sale was able to provide relief on Saturday. Sale pitched eight scoreless dominant innings against the Athletics, and recorded his 15th victory this season. White Sox defeated Oakland 6-2 on Saturday.
After an outing in which he allowed five earned runs to the Marlins, he was dominant from the first pitch on Saturday. The Athletics managed just three hits off Sale through eight innings pitched. Although he had just one strikeout through three innings, he was able to end the game with eight strikeouts. The White Sox also ended a brief two-game losing streak with the win on Saturday.
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The White Sox are six games under .500 at 58-64, and Sale’s pursuit of 20 wins are one of the intriguing storylines left for this team. With another season of missing the playoffs a possibility, Sale continues to be something to watch for fans. For his start on Saturday, this might have been his best outing of the season. It came at the wrong time for the Athletics however.
Oakland, who hit three home runs off Shields on Friday, couldn’t find any rhythm on Saturday. The Athletics managed to collect three singles against Sale. The biggest threat against the White Sox ace came in the first inning. After allowing singles to Jake Smolinski and Danny Valencia, Khris Davis grounded into an inning-ending double play. The left-handed pitcher kept the Athletics from threatening throughout the remainder of the game, and also improved his ERA.
With the win, Sale improved his record to 15-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.15. Despite not leading the American League in ERA or wins, he can still work towards capturing his first Cy Young award. Sale has some major company in the race for the Cy Young award however. With his teammate Jose Quintana sitting at 9-9 with a 2.85 ERA, he doesn’t have to look far for competition. He does however, need to look at what other candidates around the AL are doing.
Other candidates for the Cy Young award in the AL include Michael Fulmer, J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Zach Britton. Sale’s quest for the Cy Young award will not only hinge upon his upcoming individual performances, but the White Sox as well. The left-handed starter should have more than 15 wins, but a lack of offensive support in a few of his past starts have hurt him.
The remaining starts for the team’s best pitcher should be interesting as he attempts to become the first White Sox starter to win the Cy Young award since Jack McDowell in 1993. It will take a lot for the All-Star pitcher to obtain the Cy Young award. If Sale can continue having performances like he did on Saturday, he could find himself with some hardware at the end of the season.