When he made his 16th start of the 2015 season, Chris Sale was coming off an eighth consecutive 10-strikeout game, tying an MLB record set by Pedro Martinez 1999. While he didn’t continue his streak, he did twirl a brilliant complete game in a 4-2 victory against the Blue Jays, allowing just two solo home runs while striking out 6.
Sunday, Sale made his 16th start of the year, again versus the Blue Jays. Of course, Sale’s year has been very different so far, and though his run prevention has been great he has yet to record a double-digit strikeout game. For one day, however, Sale mirrored 2015. While he could not finish what he started, he once again allowed only two runs on two solo shots as the Sox won 5-2. The win is Sale’s 13th, the most in the majors.
1. In a year that has been frequently characterized by the Sox offense “fixing” pitchers that had been struggling (including Matt Harvey and Dallas Keuchel earlier this year), the White Sox touched up a struggling Marcus Stroman, getting four runs (and working four walks) against the young righty in five innings.
2. After hitting seven solo home runs Saturday, the White Sox hit two more, making each of their last 10 of the single-RBI category, all of which were hit by players other than Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu. While ideally the Sox would have players on base when they hit home runs, this seems much more of a fluke than a trend that will continue, and at the very least it’s been encouraging to see power from people other than Abreu and Frazier.
3. For the second straight day, Tim Anderson deposited a home run into the left field bleachers. Anderson, who now has a White Sox-leading .493 slugging percentage (min. 50 PAs), has displayed serious pop so far in his career despite a slight frame. There are still obvious flaws — Anderson has yet to take a walk while striking out in almost one-third of his plate appearances — but he has displayed much of what made him a Top 20 BP prospect.
4. Despite winning five of seven against two strong AL East teams in the Red Sox and Blue Jays this week, the White Sox actually lost ground on the first place Indians, who won all six of their games this week (after sweeping the Sox last weekend).
5. The White Sox now sit exactly .500 heading into a week where they will face the scuffling Minnesota Twins before heading to Houston to face the Astros. In an AL that is pretty center-heavy for the most part, a strong week could put the White Sox right with the glut of teams vying for the league’s two wild card spots.
Team Record: 38-38
Next Game: Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins.
Lead Photo Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports