Chris Sale’s Dominance Continues To Grow

FOR the second time in his career last Wednesday night Chris Sale had the chance to make major league history. Heading into the matchup with the Texas Rangers, Sale had stuck out 10 or more batters in eight consecutive games, tying a record which he himself set in July of 2015 while he was pitching for the Chicago White Sox. ‘The Condor’ fell short of the record on that night only throwing 6 K’s. However, with plenty of season 2017 left and the way Sale is throwing, don’t rule out the chances of him eying the record for the third time.

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THE last time that Sale struck out 10+ batters in eight matches was arguably his best season of his career. Along with that year since 1900 the only other time a player recorded the same numbers was in 1999 by Pedro Martinez who ironically also did it with the Red Sox. It might seem like a random record to own, but it is a testament to how strike happy Chris Sale has been over his career. If he can maintain these numbers he could be on track to set some multiple other MLB records, it’s a shame that Boston hasn’t been living up to the output from their star pitcher and their pre-season hype.

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BOSTON posted a 93-69 record last year and won their division while coming within one series of appearing in the World Series last year. Many expected the Red Sox to make the next step this season and trampoline from last year’s success into great things. Yet sitting at 25-21 through a tick over a quarter of the season things have exactly gone accordingly to plan. Last season they led the league in total runs scored at nearly 5.5 a game. This season their run scoring has stalled (despite adding star slugger Edwin Encarnacion) with 4.8 runs a game. Even though the offense has faltered the bullpen has still been producing at a high level. Just last night they tied the franchise record with 20 strikeouts and news broke in the past week that they will be bolstered by the return of starting pitcher David Price as well.

SO far Sale has thrown a league high 73 innings and 101 strikeouts. No one is within 20 K’s of Sale and his 12.45 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings pitched) would qualify as the 6th best K/9 of all-time if he can keep it up. Those kind of statistics should have him in the MVP discussion even without taking the Red Sox record into consideration. As we have learned in the past few seasons a teams record doesn’t always equate to their MVP chances. See: Mike Trout. If Sale continues to produce at this record breaking pace and Boston’s offense clicks into gear he could and should genuinely be considered for most valuable player honours. Regardless, with over two thirds of the season left Chris Sale seems like he is in career best form. And that’s saying something.

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