Chris Sale quietly, but surely leading White Sox

The Chicago White Sox season has been nothing short of inconsistent.  They’ve been unable to string together a winning streak to propel themselves to the top of the AL Central.  They have talented hitters in their lineup but are unable to get their bats going.  They currently sit at 26-30 and are 6.5 games back of the division leading Minnesota Twins.  The only White Sox who seems to be having a consistent year is veteran southpaw Chris Sale.

He has always been an electric pitcher.  He originally started in the bullpen when he first came up to the majors in 2010.  However, his stuff was too good to be restrained in the bullpen.  The South Siders realized what a true talent he was and stuck him in the starting rotation in 2012.  That decision has paid extreme dividends.  The past three seasons have seen Sale make the American league all-star team.  He also inked a team-friendly extension back in 2013 that runs through 2017 and is worth only $32.5 million.  That contract is nothing but a bargain for a pitcher of his caliber.  He has posted excellent results ever since being added to the rotation and is continuing to improve on his stuff this season.

He started off well this season, but hit a huge speed bump and saw his ERA balloon up to 5.93.  Since a May 6 outing that saw him get roughed up by the Detroit Tigers and surrender five earned runs on seven hits as well as giving up an alarming five walks, he has turned it up and is pitching perhaps the best baseball of his career.  The last several starts have seem him lower his ERA to 3.04 as well as shut down the opposing offense as he has given up no greater than five hits in each of his last six outings.

He has been pretty much untouchable.  His strikeout numbers have been on fire as well.  His last three games have seen him punch out 39 batters across only 22.2 innings of work and allow only one earned run in that span giving up a sizzling 0.40 ERA.  He is absolutely dominating opposing batters as they are hitting a mere .182 off him as well as struggling to get on base with a miserable .182 OBP in that three-game stretch.  His latest outing was reflective of that as he pitched eight innings against the upstart Houston Astros and completely shut them down.  They managed only one run off five hits and whiffed 14 times against him in those eight innings of work.  He is quickly becoming a dark horse for the AL CY Young award this season if he keeps up his incredible run.  His ability to work deep into ballgames and shut down the opposing offense has been one of the few glimmers of hope the White Sox have experienced this season.  The White Sox are still struggling to put together any consistency over the season, but if Sale is able continue to dominate, he may be able to provide a much-needed spark to get the South Siders off on a little run of their own.

Follow Daniel on Twitter: @dsurbigapp

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