Boston Red Sox ace hurler Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings Tuesday, collecting 13 strikeouts while allowing just four hits en route to the club’s 9-0 blowout victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Tuesday was the first time since Aug. 29 that Sale had recorded double-digit strikeouts but also the 18th different occasion he’s done so during the 2017 season. Should he post another such outing before the season closes, he would tie Pedro Martinez’s 19 during the 1999 season for the most in team history, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Sale has dominated hitters this season, mowing down a MLB-high 300 batters via the strikeout. Martinez was also the last American League pitcher to reach the plateau, doing so during the 199 season, per Baseball Reference.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was the last to top 300 yards, finishing with 301 strikeouts during the 2015 season. The Big Unit (Randy Johnson) recorded at least 329 strikeouts in five consecutive seasons between 1998-2002, joining Nolan Ryan as the only two players to be on the list six times.
After a down month of August (4.38 ERA over six starts), Sale has rebounded with a 2.63 ERA in September to net a 2-1 record and boost his overall season mark to 17-7.
Sale should start two more contests for the Red Sox the rest of the way, giving him an opportunity to both catch and pass Pedro Martinez for Boston’s all-time record. His next scheduled start comes Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, who he struck out 11 times in his last start against the team.