It must be frustrating to be a White Sox fan. Chris Sale, arguably the most dominant pitcher in the American League, is at his absolute worst against his own division.
Over the past two seasons Sale has a 4.78 ERA against the AL Central in 18 starts. During that same span he has a 2.02 ERA in 23 starts against everyone else.
It’s certainly intimidating seeing how the White Sox are playing and knowing what they’re capable of with an ace like Sale atop the rotation, but if he’s going to continue to pitch like this within the division it’s hard to imagine Chicago staying atop the Central.
From the Tribe’s perspective tonight it was most impressive to see them work the count and force Sale to four walks in just 3 1/3 innings. Carlos Santana aside, the Indians haven’t been the most patient team at the plate this season so it’s encouraging to see them step it up in this area against one of the league’s best.
Other notes and thoughts on the game…
- Are there any Josh Tomlin haters out there still? He went eight strong tonight and improved to 7-0. I’ve always appreciated Tomlin’s ability to eat up innings. The W-L record is a bit of a fluke, but when he’ll always keep the Tribe in the game as long as the offense does its job.
- Tomlin is now the first Indians starting pitcher to open the season with a 7-0 mark since Dennis Martinez went 9-0 to start 1995 season.
- I’m already sick of Michael Martinez but I don’t know what other options exist. Naquin wasn’t getting the job done and there aren’t any obvious upgrades in Columbus until Naquin is ready to handle major league hitting. We’ll probably have to suffer through Martinez getting at-bats against lefties until Brantley returns.