It’s Official: Chris Sale will be the Opening Day Starter
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lefties Rule for Sox on Opening Day
After today’s game, Robin Ventura named Chris Sale as the Opening Day starter on April 1 vs. the Royals at the Cell. The decision means lefties will have started each of the past six Opening Days for the Sox (Danks, 2012, Buehrle 2008-11) and 14 of last 15 (the only righty was Jose Contreras in 2007).
“(Sale) will be the Opening Day starter. We feel very confident with him going forward and giving him the ball for the first game,” said Ventura, who then explained why the announcement wasn’t made earlier in the spring. “(We wanted) him to get his work in and get ready to go. (This is now) something for him to get motivated the last two weeks and get out there and go. He’s ready to do that.”
What a Difference Three Years Make
Just for fun, I looked up April 1, 2010 to see what Sale was doing then. Couldn’t tell you.
But on April 2, 2010, just three years ago, he started Game 1 of a doubleheader for Florida Gulf Coast University against Mercer. Sale earned the victory in the 9-1 FGC win, striking out 14 over 8.0 IP, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and one walk. With the win, he improved to 4-0 on the season.
Three years later, he starts Opening Day in a Major League ballpark. Here’s how Sale looked as a Florida Gulf Coast Eagle:
More Sale and a Sox Victory
Sale got credit for today’s 11-5 win over the A’s at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, working six innings. He got strong offensive support from the likes of Hector Gimenez (2-3, three RBI); Conor Gillaspie (2-3, two RBI); Jordan Danks (2-4, two RBI); Steve Tolleson (Triple, RBI, two runs scored); Jim Gallagher (1-1, RBI); Bryan Anderson (2-2, RBI); and Tyler Saladino 1-1, RBI). The Sox pounded out 17 hits after collecting 15 against the Cubs on Friday and scored 26 runs in the two games.
Quote of the Day
Robin, commenting on Dayan Viciedo’s monster day on Friday, highlighted by a grand slam homer to right-center: “He’s special when he’s hitting the ball (to the opposite field)…he’s strong enough to take it over there and put up some big numbers.”
Play of the Day
Back-to-back triples by Gimenez and Tolleson in the Sox’s four-run third inning.
St. Patrick’s Day in Surprise: White Sox vs. Royals (3:05 p.m., Chicago time). It’ll be Zach Stewart starting for the Sox vs. the Royals’ Luis Mendoza. Jose Quintana, Hector Santiago and Jesse Crain are scheduled to pitch in a B-game at Camelback Ranch (Noon, Chicago time).
Did You Know…
…that as a result of his outstanding game at the plate today Gimenez has reached base safely in seven of his last nine games, going 11-20 (.550) with six RBI. He’s batting .500 overall this spring.
Photo of the Day