Red Sox Strut: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, LHP Chris Sale

BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Hanley Ramirez /
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BOSTON, MA – JULY 15: Chris Sale (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – JULY 15: Chris Sale (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Pitcher how gets to Strut

Chris Sale‘s quest to prove himself as the best pitcher in baseball continued with another strong effort in Los Angeles. The lefty held the Angels scoreless over six innings, allowing only four hits and two walks, while striking out nine.

Sale tallied his 200th strikeout of the season in his last start, becoming the fastest to ever reach that total in American League history. Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are the only other pitchers to fan 200+ hitters in 20 starts or fewer. Sale’s accomplishment is even more historic in that his 141 1/3 innings are the fewest an AL pitcher has needed to reach that strikeout total.

He’s currently on pace for 331 strikeouts, which would blow Pedro’s franchise record of 313 out of the water. It’s hard to imagine any pitcher in the modern era having a better year than Pedro’s epic 1999 season, but Sale is making an impressive run at it.

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Sale leads the league in virtually every important pitching category: 141 1/3 innings, 12 Wins, 2.48 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 12.74 K/9, 7.69 K/BB, 181 ERA+, 1.97 FIP and 4.7 WAR. Forget the Cy Young, Sale is putting together arguably the best pitching performance by an AL starter since the turn of the century.