Sale to get one shot at club strikeout mark
Ace needs three whiffs Thursday or Friday to set record
NEW YORK -- For those White Sox fans who want to see Chris Sale break the single-season franchise strikeout record, plan on being at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night against the Tigers.
Or Thursday night against the Royals, according to White Sox manager Robin Ventura.
"He'll definitely have one more start. I don't know if it's going to be Thursday or Friday," said Ventura prior to Friday's contest at Yankee Stadium. "We do have the off-day to play around a little bit. I know he's going to pitch one more."
The White Sox rotation had been set as far as Sunday in New York, with Carlos Rodon, John Danks and Erik Johnson pitching the final three road games. Jeff Samardzija could follow Tuesday at the start of the season's final homestand, but Jose Quintana also would be available on that day and the White Sox might want to give the southpaw two chances if needed to obtain 10 victories for the first time in his career.
Ventura reiterated that rookie Frankie Montas also will start one more time, and Friday's start against the Yankees could be the last of '15 for Rodon.
"I know he doesn't get it against Kansas City," said Ventura, when asked if Rodon gets another start at home.
Sale struck out eight Yankees on Thursday night, surpassing the 1,000 strikeout mark for his career and moving him within two of Ed Walsh's 269 strikeouts from 1908. Walsh hit that mark in an astounding 464 innings, winning 40 games, starting 49 and completing 42. The record should come for Sale in his 31st start and at just a shade over 200 innings.
This year has been an interesting one for Sale, who has lost four straight decisions -- the White Sox have lost his last six starts. There's still no denying the southpaw stands as one of the game's best.
"Again, it's been pretty dominant, and he's had some that were stinkers," said Ventura of Sale, who has a 3.48 ERA and 2.70 FIP. "That's just where he's at.
"We also have spots where we don't help him very much. I think you have a game to win, for me, he's your guy to pitch it. That much you know. He's an elite pitcher in the league. No question about it."