Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale 1st to 10 wins on team – looking for 20
There’s no question that Chris Sale is good. There’s no question that he might win the Cy Young Award in 2017. Sale improved to 10 – 3 after winning last night against the Twins in Boston. Earlier this year, I projected that Sale would be the only Sox starter to hit the 20 mark. He’s well on his way to do so thus far. Over his last two months he’s posted a record of 9 – 1 over 11 starts.
Last night Sale was on a mission allowing just one run on four hits over 6 and 1/3rd innings striking out nine batters while walking just one. The only runner to score came via the solo home run. The most impressive moment in this game was with two runners on first and second, Sale did not let the Jorge Polanco sacrifice the runners over. He instead struck him out before getting the hook. Heath Hembree came in and got the inning ending double play to preserve the 2 – 1 lead over the Twins.
After starting off the month of April with a 1 – 2 record and a 1.19 ERA his ERA rose to 4.24 in May and back down to 2.78 in June. Basically his masterful first month’s ERA cancelled out the dud in May. His K/9 ratio has also fluctuated slightly. In April he saw it hit 12.4 and then rise to 12.9 in May to only drop down in June to 11.4. By June, Sale wasn’t striking out 10+ each start as he had the prior two months.
Sale managed to strike out 10 or more batters each of the first two months. He only hit 10 K’s twice in June. He’s projected to go 21 – 6 this season with 330 strike outs which would mark the first time in his career that he cracks the 300 strike out total for one season.
Pedro Martinez currently holds the team record for most strike outs in a season with 313 back in 1999. Martinez cracked 300 only twice in his career, the 313 was when he was just 27 years old. Sale is 28. People compare the two and the similarities don’t end there.
No other Sox pitcher had rivaled the streak of 10+ strike outs in eight straight games held by Martinez until Sale came along. It just doesn’t look like he’s stopping or slowing down any time soon. Fans will soon see that this is Sale’s team and the trade made to improve the staff was one for the better. Sale led the league in complete games last season. It’s something that Pedro worked hard to do during his time in Boston.
Anything to help the bullpen out would be huge. The bullpen has only gotten better with few hiccups over the last month. Things are finally starting to turn around and thank goodness for warmer weather especially for the Sox bats. Warmer weather means balls will fly out at a higher percentage. Less wind will certainly help the numbers.
Finding good pitching is incredibly difficult and if David Price can back to 100%, Rick Porcello can make adjustments, and Eduardo Rodriguez can come back healthy, the Red Sox will have one of the most lethal pitching rotations in all of baseball.
Photo Credit – Winslow Townson – USA TODAY Sports