Chris Sale racked up double-digit strikeouts in his sixth consecutive start

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White Sox starter Chris Sale flirted with perfection but settled for eight shutout innings and 14 strikeouts against the Rangers on Friday night. He held the opposition to two hits and did not issue a walk. The lefty lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the sixth inning when Hanser Alberto singled to center. David Robertson came on in the ninth inning but loaded the bases, then gave up two runs to erase a 1-0 lead and take Sale out of the running for the win.

Sale has now struck out double-digit batters in six consecutive starts. According to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, there had been only 10 other instances in which a pitcher accomplished the feat. Pedro Martinez did it on three occasions and has the longest streak at 10 starts. Randy Johnson struck out 10-plus batters in seven consecutive starts once and in six consecutive starts on four other occasions. Nolan Ryan had a seven-game streak and a six-game streak.

Rk Name Start End Games IP BB SO ERA Tm
1 Pedro Martinez 1999-08-19 2000-04-09 10 76.1 11 130 1.06 BOS
2 Randy Johnson 2001-04-13 2001-05-13 7 56.0 13 90 1.93 ARI
3 Pedro Martinez 1999-04-15 1999-05-18 7 53.2 13 84 1.51 BOS
4 Nolan Ryan 1977-05-19 1977-06-16 7 60.0 45 90 2.55 CAL
5 Randy Johnson 2002-07-31 2002-08-25 6 50.0 14 79 1.08 ARI
6 Randy Johnson 2000-04-25 2000-05-21 6 45.1 11 71 1.99 ARI
7 Randy Johnson 1999-07-20 1999-08-16 6 49.0 11 65 1.84 ARI
8 Randy Johnson 1998-06-19 1998-07-16 6 51.0 10 74 2.29 SEA
9 Pedro Martinez 1997-06-03 1997-06-30 6 50.2 15 72 1.78 MON
10 Nolan Ryan 1972-09-25 1973-04-18 6 54.0 25 76 1.33 CAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/19/2015.

Sale, over his last six starts, has a 1.19 ERA with a 75/7 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).