Move Aside Ed Walsh, Chris Sale is the New Sox Strikeout King
Saturday, October 3, 2015
With his first-inning strikeout of the Tigers’ Nick Castellanos last night, Chris Sale tied Hall of Famer Ed Walsh‘s franchise single-season strikeout record of 269 set 107 years ago in 1908. The next inning, Sale became the all-time club leader by striking out James McCann for his 270th K (click on link below).
Sale, who is also leading all AL pitchers in Ks and is second to only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in the majors, finished with seven strikeouts in his last start of the season. The All-Star lefty gave up one run, five hits and a walk in seven-plus innings for his 13th win of the year. The new Sox mark for single-season strikeouts now stands at 274.
Chris ended the year with 24 games in which he struck out seven or more batters as well as 23 games in which he threw a quality start. He also joined Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as the only two pitchers to strike out 10-plus in eight straight appearances.
Sale shared his feelings after the game:
“It’s awesome, something that hasn’t set in yet but I know what it means, I know what it is. I’m very thankful for it. Looking over to the dugout and seeing everybody standing and the crowd was going crazy so that took a little to soak in and appreciate that moment. It comes and goes real quick but I’ll never forget that.”
“You Have to Have Fun in This Game”
Just before the record was broken, Sale threw an eephus pitch to McCann and explained it was in honor of teammate Adam LaRoche‘s dad, Dave, who was known for the pitch during his 14-year big-league career.
“Well, the creator of it is in the building. You have to have fun in this game. Talking to the whole LaRoche squad about it is something that came to my mind. I thought if there’s nobody on base and I get a guy with two strikes, let’s flip one in there just for fun. The worst thing that happens is I give up a homer. And I did that before so I got that out of the way.”
More Friday Night Highlights
Adam Eaton‘s two-run double in the third inning drove in what proved to be all the Sox needed in last night’s 2-1 victory in the series opener (click on top link below)…Matt Albers, with his 20th consecutive scoreless appearance (22.1 IP), came on in relief of Sale with the one-run lead, two on and no outs in the eighth, and got out of the jam…David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his 34th save…And take a look at J.B. Shuck‘s spectacular leaping catch with two outs in the seventh (click on bottom link).
Who Was Ed Walsh?
The following bio of Walsh (pictured above) was written by Stuart Schimler for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Walsh pitched for the Sox for 13 seasons and was inducted into the Hall in 1946. He finished his career with 195 wins and a minuscule 1.82 ERA.
“From 1907 to 1912, “Big Ed” Walsh tested a pitcher’s endurance like no pitcher has since. During that stretch the spitballing right-hander led the American League in innings pitched four times, often by staggeringly large margins. He hurled a total of 2,248 innings, 300 more than another other pitcher in baseball. He started 18 more games than any other pitcher, and led the American League during that stretch in games finished and saves, though the latter statistic would not be tracked for another 60 years. His finest season came in 1908, when Walsh became the last pitcher in baseball history to win 40 games and hurled an incredible 464 innings, 73.1 more than any other pitcher in baseball…”
Read more: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/3a0e7935
White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m. CT, WGN) in the middle game of the season-ending three-game series. Probable Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (3-1, 3.45) for the Sox, RHP Justin Verlander (5-8, 3.39) for Detroit.
Sox Notes of Note
GM Rick Hahn announced yesterday that Robin Ventura will be back in 2016. Bench coach Mark Parent will not return and Harold Baines, at his request, will leave as assistant hitting coach but will stay in the organization in more of an ambassador role. The rest of the coaching staff will remain intact.
Quotes of the Day
“Robin’s strength is communication and the environment he creates to allow players to maximize their abilities.” He also pointed to Ventura’s open-mindedness, intelligence, creativity and knowing his players and their capabilities.”
“We have been able to add some pieces that we feel will be able to contribute to a championship club.”
White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (2:10 CT. CSN) in the season finale. Probable Starters: Rookie RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 5.73) for the Sox, LHP Daniel Norris (2-1, 3.88) for Detroit.
Fan Appreciation Day Tomorrow
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…
The White Sox advanced to their first World Series since 1959, defeating the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1, on the road in the American League Championship Series. Jose Contreras tossed the fourth consecutive complete game by a Sox hurler, retiring his final 15 batters. The Angels led 3-2, when Joe Crede hit a leadoff homer in the seventh off Kelvin Escobar. After Aaron Rowand walked and A.J. Pierzynski reached first on Escobar’s error in the eighth, Crede’s slow roller up the middle plated Rowand with the go-ahead run. Paul Konerko who was named the series MVP, added an RBi double in the ninth and Rowand capped the night with a sacrifice fly. The Sox won the sixth AL pennant in franchise history. On to the Series.
Photo of the Day
The authors of the four straight complete games in the 2005 ALCS and their pitching coach: Jon Garland, Mark Buehrle, Contreras, coach Don Cooper and Freddy Garcia.