CHICAGO – The up-and-down Chicago White Sox are never a sure bet for fans, but every fifth game of the season they demand everybody’s attention.
There are notes aplenty as Sale heads into Wednesday’s outing:
After striking out 15 and 14 batters respectively in his last two starts, the left-hander will try to become just the second pitcher in the modern era, after Pedro Martinez, to strike out at least 14 batters in three consecutive starts.
Sale’s 29 strikeouts over his last two outings are a franchise record.
The two-game flurry of strikeouts now has Sale on pace for a franchise record 300 K's, which would be the most in the major leagues since 2002 when Randy Johnson had 334 and Curt Schilling had 316, both for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If the season ended today, Sale’s 12.16 strikeouts per nine innings would be a franchise record and the highest in the major leagues since Johnson was at 13.41 in 2001.
Sale’s 12 starts with 10 or more strikeouts are the most in the major leagues since the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish had 12 in 2013.
When batters swing against a Sale pitch, they miss 33.8 percent of the time, a mark that would be the highest since Martinez had 35.8 percent of swings that missed in 1999.
Sale’s 222 strikeouts are tied with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead and are the sixth-highest total in White Sox history, 47 off the record of 269 set by Ed Walsh in 1908.