White Sox starter Chris Sale pitched into the eighth inning, allowing one run on six hits and a walk while striking out 10 batters in his most recent start on Saturday against the Cubs. He is a candidate to start for the American League in the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday.
If manager Robin Ventura had his way, Sale wouldn’t pitch at all. Via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune:
“I think yesterday he was amped up,” Ventura said. “Just philosophy-wise, pitch count and everything in this environment, he was exerting everything he had. It would be nice (for him to rest), definitely.
“He is (our only representative). But I also want him to pitch for us for the rest of the year too.”
Sale heads into the All-Star break with a 2.72 ERA, leading the league with 157 strikeouts compared to only 23 walks in 119 1/3 innings. One can understand Ventura’s reluctance to have Sale throw any more than he needs to, but the baseball world at large would be deprived of awesome pitching were the lefty to rest on Tuesday instead.
Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.
A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.
The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.
David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.
The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.