Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale notched 10 strikeouts through seven innings of work against the Oakland A’s on Friday night, giving him at least 10 strikeouts over his last eight starts to tie his own personal record.
10 strikeouts for Sale. That’s 8 games in a row with at least 10. Ties single season record he had in ’15 + Pedro Martinez first set in ‘99
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) May 20, 2017
Sale also struck out 10-plus hitters in eight straight games while with the Chicago White Sox in 2015. Former Red Sox right-hander Pedro Martinez struck out 10-plus hitters in 10 games in a row in 1999, which still stands as the major league record.
Sale entered Friday’s start with 85 strikeouts on the season, which already led the American League. Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer was the next-closest with 65 strikeouts.
The only start this year that Sale hasn’t struck out at least 10 hitters was his first of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he struck seven over seven innings.
Sale struck out a season-high 13 hitters against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 20 and has logged 12 strikeouts on two other occasions.
The Red Sox were certainly banking on these kinds of strikeout numbers from Sale when they traded Yoan Moncada and three other prospects for him in the offseason.
He’s racked up at least 200 strikeouts in each of the last four seasons and is well on pace to reach that mark yet again. His career single-season high of 274 strikeouts led the American League in 2015 and landed him fourth in Cy Young Award voting.
If the Red Sox keep with their current rotation, Sale’s next start will come against the Texas Rangers and his potential record-tying start would ironically come against the White Sox. If Sale is able to strike out 10-plus hitters in both of those games, his chance to take the record from Martinez would likely come against the Baltimore Orioles.