Chris Sale has been everything the Boston Red Sox hoped for, and even more.
The left-handed ace has mowed down opposing hitters all season, and that continued Friday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Sale turned in an average start by his standards, giving up two runs in seven innings while striking out 10 batters in the Red Sox’s 3-2 extra-innings loss.
To say a start with 10 strikeouts is average only highlights just how dominant Sale has been in 2017.
It was the eighth consecutive game Sale has struck out at least 10 hitters, tying a record Pedro Martinez set in 1999, that Sale already matched once in 2015.
While Sale’s streak is impressive, the Red Sox ace would trade it for all for more tallies in the win column.
“I’d rather be 8-0 with no punchouts, honestly,” Sale said as seen on NESN’s “Red Sox Extra-Innings Live.” “Peripheral stats don’t matter in this game. I know people love crunching numbers and talking about this and that. They’re flashy, they’re cool, but at the end of the day, they don’t matter. Other than the win-loss record for your team, every other stat doesn’t matter. ”
And while Sale’s dominance has become commonplace, he’s giving all the credit to the guys behind him.
“Anytime you say you’re comfortable on a baseball field, that’s when you start giving it up,” Sale said. “I’ve tried to find a groove, tried to find a rhythm. I’ve said it before, the defense I have behind me, the catcher I’m throwing to, gives me all the confidence to be able to go out there and do my job.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Athletics.
— Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 in his first rehab game for Triple-A Pawtucket. David Price threw two innings in his rehab start Friday, surrendering three runs on five hits while striking out four.
Manager John Farrell said he would have to speak to Price before determining the next step in his rehab.
“Given the number of pitches, only two innings pitched, I will say this though, the fact that he threw that many pitches in that short amount of time and he feels fine physically, while the overall body of performance wasn’t quite there, that he pushed it physically was a positive sign,” Farrell said as seen on NESN’s “Red Sox Final.”
— The Red Sox called up Noe Ramirez prior to Friday night’s game and optioned Robbie Ross Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket.
— Sale continues to lead Major League Baseball in strikeouts with 95.
— Joe Kelly might be finding his groove.
— Red Sox prospect Sam Travis has been tearing up the month of May, hitting .368 with three home runs in 16 games.
Thumbnail photo via Neville E. Guard/USA TODAY Sports Images