Chris Sale's numbers speak for themselves, whether you merely look at the line from Wednesday night's impressive outing:
- 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K
Or his season as a whole:
- 15-4, 2.65 ERA, 153 IP, 122 H, 36 BB, 150 K
Those are fun. What's also fun is reading and hearing about what the opposition has to say about Sale's talent. As White Sox fans, we've witnessed the White Sox tipping their caps to overpowering singular talents. In some cases, they don't even have to be that good to warrant the praise.
With Sale, the overwhelming appreciation finally flows in the other direction. I mean, you go to the New York Times. The headline above David Waldstein's story reads, "With Heat Turned Up, Yankees Sit Down, One by One."
Yeah they do. First, let's watch those 13 Yankees grab some bench:
And then let's keep going.
After the game, a few Yankees talked about what they saw, and Mark Teixeira put the most unique spin on it (emphasis mine):
"I never faced him before. It’s like facing a closer three times. The guy throws 95-96 from a tough angle, very tall, three plus-pitches. It’s difficult to face a guy like that. There’s a reason why his numbers are so good."
Or what about our friends at Pinstripe Alley?
Chris Sale was pretty untouchable tonight. He went 7.2 innings tonight, giving up three hits and one earned run while striking out thirteen and walking only one batter. You read that right. Sale struck out thirteen Yankees tonight. His earned run was courtesy of a Derek Jeter dinger. That is all the Yankees did against Sale tonight. With Chris Sale pitching for the White Sox, it's definitely easy to see why they are still in first place.
A.J. Pierzynski added on to what he said before about the challenge of catching Sale:
"He throws pitches, and I don’t know half of the time what’s coming," Pierzynski said. "Sometimes I’ll call a fastball — you guys get on his velocity sometimes — and he’ll throw it 85, and the next one will be 94. One cuts, one sinks, one goes straight. It’s just kind of a guessing game for me out there also. He threw the ball great. He’s been throwing the ball great all year. I’m sure happy we decided to keep him as a starter."
Sale also picked a good time to dominate, because the game was aired on ESPN2. John Kruk and Dave O'Brien discussed his performance after the game, with Kruk saying:
"He's more impressive in person than I've ever seen him on TV. He looks nasty on TV; here, in person, there's no chance I'd want to step into a box against him."