By Bruce Levine–
(CBS) — White Sox ace Chris Sale was dominant in winning his eleventh game after a shaky first inning. Sale, battling Tigers ace Max Scherzer, gave up two first inning home runs before striking out the side to end the inning. Sale struck out the side in four innings.
The 26-year-old left handed starter struck out a personal season high of 13 Detroit batters in his seven innings of work. Sale tied a White Sox franchise record striking out ten or more hitters in a game for the 17th time. Saturday’s effort ties Sale with Hall of Fame right handed pitcher Ed Walsh for the double digit strikeout record.
“Those are things for my friends and family to talk about,” he said after the 6-3 Chicago victory. “I have more important things to worry about right now, moving toward my next start.”
Sale had the support from his offense after he had given up three in the first inning. That included a leadoff home run from Ian Kinsler and a two run blast from White Sox killer Victor Martinez. Chicago’s offense came back with four runs in the third inning against the top winner in the American League.
“We talked a lot this week about slowing things down not gripping and ripping when bad things start to happen. That is what I tried to do in the first inning, just slow it down and not try to over throw and do too much.”
The Cy Young award is still a possibility for Sale, who leads the American League in ERA (2.11) and WHIP (0.89). The Sox’s number one pitcher will need five more starts and at least three victories in order to get the attention of voters for the post season award.
“He has done it from a young age,” manager Robin Ventura said about his ace on his focus. “He learned under Buerhle and Peavy. They helped teach him the right way and now you see the maturity level that has happened.”
The double digit strikeout record is even more impressive when you consider it took Walsh 288 starts in order to have 17 double digit strikeout games. Sale has done it in 61 starts, comprising more than 25 percent of his starts.