The White Sox and Orioles are playing a doubleheader today to make up for the games canceled last month due to the civil unrest in Baltimore. Game one was the Chris Sale show.
Sale pitched seven and two-thirds shutout innings, striking out 12 and allowing only four hits and no walks. It took him 120 pitches to get that far, but the O’s didn’t manage to touch him.
In support the Sox got two in the sixth thanks to a pair of doubles from Melky Cabrera and Adam Laroche. An insurance run was added in the ninth via a Tyler Flowers fielder’s choice.
Things got dicey for Chicago in the ninth as Chris Davis hit a two-run homer off of Zack Duke who had come in to close it out for Sale with two outs in the eighth. While that made it a ballgame it wasn’t enough as Jacob Petricka came in to get the final out to preserve the 3-2 White Sox win.
But today was all about Sale. Who, despite getting tattooed in a couple of late-April, early-May starts, has settled down nicely and is giving Chicago the ace-like performance they have come to expect.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.