I thought of celebrating Sale’s start in the opener on Friday by digging out my notes from his very first game with the White Sox, at Camden Yards, in 2010. But instead, for my commemorative throwback, navigate the oddly-punctuated, released from server farm jail story of Chris Sale’s first White Sox save.
Anyway, so, maybe you haven’t heard, but Sale starts against the White Sox tonight. His only appearance against the White Sox in his career was a rough win at Sox Park last May 30. The Sox rocked Sale for a 32 game score, in a performance that was just thisbetter than soon-to-be-out-the-door Jose Quintana, in a battle of Sox aces. Sale lasted five innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and two walks, while still whiffing nine White Sox. Todd Frazier homered against Sale in the fourth. Matt Davidson struck out in all five of his trips to the plate in that game, the first three coming against Sale.
Tonight against Sale, in a move surely more borne of lineup desperation than excessive sabermetricking, Davidson bats cleanup:
Adam Engel sits again, after injuring his hamstring on a catch made off that screaming liner from Eduardo Escobar in the bottom of the third in the White Sox’s June 6 win — an injury he apparently aggravated in the sixth inning of that game, when digging for first on his successful suicide squeeze bunt.
For the Carmines (yeah, for some reason it’s easier to find an official Red Sox lineup en Español than English, and, well, the names are the same):
Chicago gets two lucky breaks in the opener, as they avoid AL MVP-for-fans-who-forgot-Mike-Trout-plays-in-the-AL Mookie Betts (out the entire series) and J.D. Martínez (likely just sitting tonight).