Sox Unleash “Swing and Miss” Chris vs. Mariners and King Felix

Friday, August 21, 2015

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Mariners at Safeco Field, Seattle (9:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP Chris Sale (11-7, 3.32) for the Sox, RHP Felix Hernandez (14-7, 3.65) for the M’s.

Sale will be making his 24th start of the season, 12th on the road and first vs. Seattle. He is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA and 40 strikeouts in six career games (four starts) vs the Mariners with two complete games.

Chris is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA over his last two starts. He struck out 15 batters last Sunday vs. the Cubs for the second time in his career, joining Hall-of-Famer Ed Walsh (twice) as the only Sox hurlers and Jake Peavy and Max Scherzer as the only active pitchers to accomplish the feat.

Sale is on pace to record a franchise-record 286 strikeouts, which would be the most in the major leagues since 2002 when Arizona’s Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) both eclipsed 300. Chris’ average of 11.90 strikeouts per nine innings would be the highest in club history.

The Sox’ four-time All-Star, who leads the American League and ranks second in the major leagues with 208 strikeouts, has joined Walsh (1910-12) as the only pitchers in White Sox history to fan 200-plus in three consecutive seasons. And he is attempting to join Walsh (1908, 1911) as the only Sox pitchers to lead the majors in strikeouts.

Sale recorded 10-plus strikeouts in eight straight starts from May 23-June 30, tying Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez for the longest streak in baseball history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sale became the fifth left-hander in big-league history to record at least five strikeouts with one or no hits allowed, joining Johnson (four), Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester and Warren Spahn (one each).

In his career, Sale has struck out 10 or more batters 28 times in 108 starts (25.9 percent) and 12 or more 17 times, both franchise records. His 17 games with 12-plus strikeouts all have come since 2012, nine more than any other pitcher during that span.

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Last Night’s Highlights

Jose Abreu‘s two-run double capped a five-run fifth inning, Adam LaRoche belted a two-run homer and Jose Quintana delivered another quality start as the White Sox left Anaheim on a high note with an 8-2 victory over the Angels…Abreu, who drove in three runs on the night, has 26 RBI in his last 28 games…LaRoche’s home run was his 11th of the season and and he added a single to go 2-4…Q tossed six innings, allowing just two runs for his seventh win, and Nate Jones, Jake Petricka and Dan Jennings each pitched a scoreless, hitless inning of relief…Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino each had two-hit games with an RBI and Carlos Sanchez singled in a run in the big fifth…Geovany Soto collected a single and a double.

Enjoy the Sox’ five-run fifth, LaRoche’s homer and Q’s strong performance:

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=392568383

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=392712883

http://www.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=392740883

Shark Bite

Jeff Samardzija righted his own personal ship on Wednesday night despite the Sox’ 1-0 loss to the Angels. Shark allowed just one run in seven innings of work and recorded seven strikeouts. What was the difference from his previous couple of outings? Jeff explains via Scott Merkin of whitesox.com.

“I had my splitter (on Wednesday night) which has been the biggest issue for me in the past. The last two games, it has been there for me…For me, it’s about calming down and working my way through situations instead of pressing and trying to do too much. It usually means your front side flies open and the ball stays over the plate. I thought that was the biggest difference. I stayed under control and kept pitches down in the zone. I feel like my stuff has been exactly the same.”

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Quotes of the Day

Get to know the White Sox’ 2015 No. 1 draft pick Carson Fulmer (pictured above with Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer), who is now pitching for the Class A Winston-Salem Dash. Carson participated in a Q&A yesterday with Dash fans on Twitter. Here are some of his answers:

Q: Do you prefer striking out a batter looking or swinging?

A: “Looking. You threw something that he wasn’t looking for, which is the ultimate feeling.”

Q: What emotions ran through your mind when you were assigned to pitch in your first professional game with the White Sox?

A: “I’ve been waiting my whole life to play professional baseball. I’m just glad to have the opportunity.”

Q: What is your favorite baseball memory?

A: “Being part of Vanderbilt’s first national championship.”

Q: What was your favorite team growing up?

A:  “I really didn’t have one. I just loved baseball. My favorite player was Nolan Ryan.”

Q: If you were a pancake in a stack of pancakes which would you be and why?

A: “The very bottom one because, regardless of what happens, I will be the most supportive pancake in the stack.”

Q: Do you enjoy playing with the Dash? What has the experience been like?

A: “Of course. They emphasize “team” here, which is a big part of what I stand for.”

Q: What’s the biggest difference in the atmospheres of college ball and minor league ball?

A: “Getting mentally and physically prepared. Instead of four games a week, it’s seven. But I’m enjoying every second of it.”

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A Very Special “Throwback Thursday”

The White Sox will honor a special era in team history by wearing the collared, blue and white V-neck jerseys first worn during the 1976 season when the team takes on the Mariners at 7:10 p.m. CT on Thursday, August 27 at U.S. Cellular Field. (original uniform specs above courtesy of @toddradom).

The ’76 Sox introduced one of baseball’s most innovative team looks–pull-over jerseys worn pajama style outside the trousers with accompanying navy shorts. It was the first and only time a baseball team has worn shorts in a major-league game. While the team will not sport the shorts on “Throwback Thursday,” they will wear the collared jerseys untucked with pants.

The Sox wore the jerseys from 1976-81, including three games with shorts. Among those who wore the collared jerseys in 1976 included Hall-of-Famer Goose Gossage and All-Stars Chet Lemon and Carlos May. Others who wore the uniform in later years were Hall-of-Famer Carlton Fisk, Sox great Harold Baines and current radio broadcasters Steve Stone and Ed Farmer.

Baines: “It was the most comfortable–not the prettiest–uniform I ever wore. No belt, length of pants didn’t matter; you just had to put on your socks to be ready. I’m just glad I didn’t have to wear the shorts.”

Stone: “These particular jerseys represent one of the most exciting years that the White Sox have had, which was the very offensive minded “South Side Hitmen of 1977. The jerseys bring back memories of many runs scored.”

Farmer: “This uniform was the ugliest I have worn, but it also was the most comfortable I have ever worn.”

In addition to the throwback uniforms, fans will see retro elements throughout the ballpark, including signage, video highlights and photos from the era the uniforms were worn. Fans can share their favorite moments by using the hashtag #SoxTBT.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs Mariners at Safeco Field (9:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the middle game of the three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP Carlos Rodon (5-5, 4.42) for the Sox, LHP Vidal Nuno (0-1, 3.67) for Seattle.

Photos of the Day

Even Mr. White Sox Minnie Minoso suited up in the “Throwback Thursday” uniform as a coach from 1976-78 and 1980 and as a DH for a total of 10 at bats in ’76 and ’80. For the record, Minnie collected a single in 1976 off of Angels pitcher Sid Monge in this uniform. He was in his early 50s.

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