The Boston Red Sox parted ways with a plethora of talent when they traded for Chris Sale. The towering lefthander has wasted no time proving himself to his new club.
He continued his early season excellence at Fenway Park today, turning in seven innings of three-run ball while striking out 12. He’ll be 4-2 if Boston hangs on and sports a 2.15 ERA, and 0.82 WHIP with a Major League-leading 85 strikeouts.
It’s the seventh straight start in which Sale has posted 10 or more strikeouts. The only players to have done it in eight straight are Pedro Martinez (in 1999) and a guy named Chris Sale (in 2015 with the Chicago White Sox). Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson are the other pitchers to put together two similarr streaks of at least six games.
This is elite company and Sale is more than holding his own. His next scheduled starts will be against Oakland, Texas and the White Sox. It’s possible he’ll take the mound with a chance to push his incredible streak into double-digits on Chicago’s South Side.
Sale is showing the stuff that made Boston brass confident he was worth sacrificing some future talent. His ability to consistently fan batters is crucial to his success as a lefthander at Fenway Park, where righthanded-heavy lineups salivate over the proximity of the Green Monster. Power pitching becomes even more imperative in the postseason and Sale is showing profound aptitude.
But that’s down the road. For now, we should appreciate how stunning the record Sale already holds and is looking to decimate. One does not get to 10 strikeouts by accident. Both the stuff and control have to be on point. Sale is putting on a clinic — and it could go on for awhile.