White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is one of the truly elite pitchers in all of baseball and is having a fantastic season except for one thing: He’s been awful against the Twins.
Sale made it through just three innings Sunday against Minnesota, allowing six runs on nine hits in a 7-0 loss. And it wasn’t even his worst start versus the Twins this season.
Overall this year Sale has started six games against the Twins, going 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA and .319 opponents’ batting average while allowing 30 runs in 36 innings.
Against every other team Sale is 11-5 with a 2.73 ERA and .209 opponents’ batting average in 22 starts.
As a Twins fan I have absolutely zero clue how to possibly explain Sale looking like a batting practice pitcher against them and a Cy Young winner against everyone else. Minnesota’s lineup has been mediocre all season and the Twins have not fared well versus Sale in past years. In fact, prior to this season Sale had a career record of 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA against Minnesota.
Minnesota is very much in contention for the second Wild Card spot, trailing the Rangers by one game with 20 games left to play in a season when few expected them to be above .500. But here’s the thing: In games when they’ve faced Sale the Twins are 5-1 and in all other games they’re 69-67. Beating up on Sale is one of the biggest reasons why the Twins are surprise contenders. What a world.