Earlier this afternoon I wrote about how the Reds are out of contention but Johnny Cueto still dominated the Cardinals in a 1-0 win as Cincinnati took three out of four games from St. Louis.
Well, something very similar just happened in the other league today too. Chicago is out of contention, but Chris Sale still dominated Oakland in a 1-0 win as the White Sox took three out of four games from the A’s.
And while Cueto’s eight shutout innings versus St. Louis lowering his ERA to 2.15 is really, really impressive, Sale’s eight shutout innings versus Oakland lowered his ERA to 1.99.
Sale missed time with an injury, so he’s only thrown 163 innings, but he’s 12-3 with a 1.99 ERA and 192/32 K/BB ratio.
Here’s that same list I used in the Cueto post, with updated Sale numbers for the lowest ERAs in baseball since 2011 among pitchers with at least 500 innings:
Clayton Kershaw 2.10 JOHNNY CUETO 2.46 CHRIS SALE 2.75 Cliff Lee 2.89 Hisashi Iwakuma 2.93 Felix Hernandez 2.94
Sale, like Cueto, pitches half his games in a ballpark that inflates power-hitting, and he also calls the American League home.
As for this season only: Low innings count and all, at what point does Sale become a very real alternative to Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young award? King Felix has thrown 212 innings with a 2.12 ERA in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.