After tossing a one-hit shutout against the Angels in his last start on Sunday, Chris Sale got the best of them again last night.
Sale struck out a season-high 12 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox topped the Angels 3-0 at Angel Stadium. The 24-year-old southpaw gave up just three hits and walked three in the victory and extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings. That’s the best by a starter on the White Sox since Mark Buehrle (24 1/3 innings) in 2001.
C.J. Wilson, who has been outdueled by Sale in back-to-back starts, couldn’t help but marvel at the experience:
After finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young balloting last season in his first full year as a starting pitcher, Sale is making another strong push so far in 2013. Though nine starts, he’s 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 61/15 K/BB ratio in 64 innings.
The White Sox currently have a season-high four-game winning streak and sit 19-21 on the season, four games behind the Tigers and Indians in the American League Central.
Your Friday box scores:
Mets 3, Cubs 2
Blue Jays 0, Yankees 5
Reds 3, Phillies 5
Mariners 3, Indians 6 (10 innings)
Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 2
Rays 12, Orioles 10
Dodgers 5, Braves 8
Tigers 2, Rangers 1
Brewers 6, Cardinals 7
Red Sox 3, Twins 2 (10 innings)
Astros 4, Pirates 5
Giants 9, Rockies 10
Royals 1, Athletics 2
Nationals 6, Padres 5 (10 innings)
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.