Red Sox Strut: Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, LHP Chris Sale

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Andrew Benintendi
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Andrew Benintendi /
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BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 1: Chris Sale (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 1: Chris Sale (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Pitcher who gets to Strut

The dominance of Chris Sale never gets stale. The lefty provided the Red Sox with a pair of stellar starts last week against division rivals.

Sale produced arguably his best outing of the season last Tuesday, blanking the Rays over eight innings to pick up his league-leading 14th win. He tied a season-high with 13 strikeouts and has now punched out at least 12 Rays hitters in all four of his starts against Tampa Bay this year. Sale’s career 13.5 K/9 rate against the Rays is the highest against a single opponent in the modern era (minimum 75 innings), per the Elias Sports Bureau.

The next victim on Sale’s slate was the Yankees. He allowed only one run on four hits over seven innings of work. He had to settle for an no-decision in a game the Red Sox eventually won in extra-innings, as Sale continues to receive a lack of run support from his offense. Boston scored a total of only five runs during his two starts last week.

Sale now has 16 starts this season in which he’s recorded 10+ strikeouts, trailing only Pedro Martinez for the most in a single season in franchise history (19 starts in 1999). Since 2012, Sale now has 27 games with 12+ strikeouts, the most in the majors during that span. Clayton Kershaw is next on that list with 16.

Next: Observations from Red Sox-Yankees weekend

At this point it’s safe to say that Sale has locked up the Cy Young award. The only debate is whether or not he deserves to be the MVP.