Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale reached another milestone by recording 200+ strikeouts for the seventh consecutive season.
It hasn’t been a vintage year for Chris Sale but there’s one thing that the ace of the Boston Red Sox still does as well as anyone – strikeout a ton of hitters.
Sale surpassed 200 strikeouts for the season during his start Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels. He entered the game with 193 and reached the 200 mark by striking out Luis Rengifo to end the fifth inning.
He was far from done toying with the Angels lineup though. Sale would end up tossing eight shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out 13. That included a pair of strikeouts against MVP front-runner Mike Trout.
This is the seventh consecutive season in which Sale has recorded 200+ strikeouts. He’s one of only 15 MLB pitchers ever to reach that milestone at least seven times.
Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, and Justin Verlander are the only other active pitchers on that list. Sale and Scherzer are the only active pitchers to do it in consecutive seasons, although Mad Max is well on his way to making it eight in a row.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Only Gerrit Cole (226) has more strikeouts in the American League than Sale’s 206 this season, although the Houston Astros horse has piled up significantly more innings. Sale still has the edge with a league-leading 13.1 K/9 this season and his career 11.0 K/9 is an all-time MLB record.
Sale’s 1995 career strikeouts are the fourth most in the majors since he entered the league in 2010. He has tallied the second most strikeouts since 2012 when he transitioned from the bullpen into the starting rotation.
This is only Sale’s third season in Boston but he’s already climbed to 18th on the franchise’s all-time strikeout list with 751, surpassing Hall of Famer Lefty Grove with his latest outing. Two years ago, Sale made a valiant run at Pedro’a single-season franchise record of 313 strikeouts, only to settle for second place with 308. With a five-year extension locked in, Sale is a solid bet to eventually crack the top-five on the franchise’s all-time strikeout list if he can remain relatively healthy.
This season hasn’t gone according to plan for Sale but this dazzling outing is an encouraging sign that he’s solved the mechanical issues that were holding him back. The Red Sox aren’t going anywhere without their ace leading the way. Dominant performances like this prove Sale still has it in him and his elite strikeout total suggests his season may not have been going as poorly as we thought.