White Sox – N/A WEATHER WATCH: There is a 37 percent chance of thunderstorms and wind will blow across the field (RF to LF) at around 14 miles per hour.
“It was good for the lineup to do that and pick him up”, Chicago manager Robin Ventura said, “because he’s done his work before and not gotten much out of it”.
Chris Sale and Mark Buehrle were teammates for only one full season on the South Side, but it was enough for the proverbial torch to be passed from one great left-hander to the next.
Sale’s bid for a record strikeout streak ended, but he pitched a six-hitter to lead the White Sox in the fastest major league game in nearly four years.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more popular ex- White Sox than Mark Buehrle.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who has accomplished what he has in a career”, Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey said Monday. The White Sox have a 7-34 record when opponents outhit them. Two of my best friends in the world. Sale came out in the ninth and allowed two runners to get on base but forced the double play to end the game.
Donaldson hit his 20th homer in the sixth.
Buehrle’s first no-hitter nearly feels overshadowed, given it came in a dismal 2007 season and he threw a perfect game two years later.
When Sale, who had been named to the All-Star team made his way to the Sox pen beyond the left-field fence, the roar was bigger, yet not as big as the one he got on his way back.
“I can’t complain. We got the win and that is what counts”, he said.
The 36-year-old Buehrle (9-4, 3.64) is proving he has plenty left in the tank as he prepares to take the mound as a visitor at USA Cellular Field for the second time. Buehrle and Sale even overlapped on the White Sox’s roster in 2010 and 2011, when Sale worked out of the bullpen. With an overpowering fastball and sweeping slider, Sale took over as the lead dog in the White Sox rotation from Buehrle, the master of pinpoint accuracy with an ability to change speeds effectively.
“It was fun pitching at the pace we did”, Sale said. Sale only allowed six hits and of the 108 pitches that he threw, 77 were strikes. Fans of both pitchers and the pitchers themselves should be proud of what they accomplished in this classic duel. “We’ll see”.
I asked him if he was getting tired of pitching. “It’s not like I am soaking it all in each series”. He not only worked 200-plus innings in his 11 seasons as a full-time starter with the White Sox, he has also worked 200 innings in each of his past three seasons in a different uniform. I just don’t know what is going to happen. But the White Sox have played it safe with him in order to protect the flame thrower with his nasty arm-tweaking breaking pitch. During Sale’s historic tear, he has fanned 97 batters while walking only nine over 60 innings, yet he remains winless over his last four turns.
As the accolades mount, and the comparisons to strikeout guys like Martinez and Randy Johnson grow, Sale is appreciative, but he remains focused on the task at hand. After dropping five of their last seven, the Jays arrive at “The Cell” looking to recapture some of the magic they found in June.