|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Sun May 14th, 2017 05:29 am||
|In 1973, Detroit Tigers slugger Norm Cash famously walked to the plate to face baseball's strikeout king, Nolan Ryan - who was in the midst of throwing his second of seven no-hitters - while brandishing a table leg instead of his bat. When the umpire instructed Cash to use a regular, legal bat, he supposedly replied: "Why not? I won't hit him (Ryan) anyway."
American League hitters may want to try Cash's table-leg trick when hitting against Chris Sale in 2017 - because the way Sale's going right now, including Saturday's performance, he's just going to strike them all out anyway.
The Boston Red Sox left-hander made more history Saturday with another double-digit strikeout performance, striking out 12 in seven innings to lead Boston to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. It's Sale's seventh consecutive 10-K start of the year, which ties him with Ryan (1977), Randy Johnson (2001), and Pedro Martinez (1999) for the second-longest streak of double-digit strikeout games in a single season.
Chris Sale K's 10+ in 7th straight game, matching streaks by Pedro, Big Unit & Nolan Ryan.
Sale & Pedro also have separate 8-game streaks. pic.twitter.com/8O1Oijwx9W
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) May 13, 2017
If Sale strikes out 10 in an eighth consecutive start - his next outing is scheduled for Thursday in Oakland - he'll tie the major-league record that he already shares with Martinez. Sale previously recorded eight straight starts of 10-plus strikeouts with the White Sox from May 23-June 30, 2015, while Martinez did it in a Red Sox uniform from Aug. 19-Sept. 27, 1999 - his second streak of seven 10-K starts that season.
The double-digit strikeout game wasn't the only bit of history Sale made on Saturday afternoon. He's now struck out 85 batters through his first eight starts as a member of the Red Sox. That moved him into a tie with the Hall of Fame southpaw Johnson for the most strikeouts in a pitcher's first eight outings with a new team since 1893 (when the mound was moved to 60 feet, 6 inches), according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Johnson set that record in his first eight starts for the Houston Astros in August of 1998, after being traded there at that season's deadline.
Sale's 2017 strikeout-to-walk ratio now sits at a ridiculous 6.54-to-1, just a shade higher than his career-best of 6.52-to-1 in 2015.