In retiring 13 batters on strikes last Saturday against the Detroit Tigers, Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox recorded his 17th career double-digit strikeout game. Per MLB Stat of the Day, this performance tied Sale with Ed Walsh for the most games fanning 10 or more batters in franchise history.
It's difficult to compare Sale to Walsh, however, as the latter accumulated those games nearly 100 seasons ago. To illustrate the difference in eras, Walsh eclipsed 365 innings in five of his 14 major league seasons and even recorded an astounding 464 innings in 1908.
Back in the modern era, Sale burst onto the scene in 2012 when he was finally converted from a reliever to a full-time starter. He logged his first career double-digit strikeout game on April 20 of that season against the Seattle Mariners and went on to record four such games that year.
2013 proved to be an outstanding campaign, as the southpaw struck out a career-best 226 batters over 214.1 innings, going the distance four times and recording one shutout. After fanning double-digit batters in six games that year, Sale went on to finish fifth in AL Cy Young Award voting.
Despite missing time due to a flexor muscle strain this season, Sale has recorded a career-best seven double-digit strikeout performances, with four of them coming in July or August. His 10.8 K/9 rate is also a personal best since becoming a full-time starter.
The southpaw is set to take the hill against the Cleveland Indians on Friday in what will be his first of several remaining attempts this season to cement his name in White Sox record books.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise specified.
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