After just over a month of waiting, White Sox fans were yet again able to celebrate Chris Sale Day and it went off without a hitch. Sale dominated Derek Jeter's Farwell Tour lineup through six innings in a 3-2 White Sox win.
Sale foreshadowed his dominance this evening with an eleven strike out performance in his minor league rehab start for the Charlotte Knights last week. But no one could have seen 5.2 perfect innings coming in his first start back with the big league squad. Sale struck out ten batters while giving up no walks on one hit, a single, in the sixth inning. The first inning started out just as you would expect from the White Sox's ace. He struck out the side in order and made it look easy. Those of you who subscribe to the Chris Sale velocity watch would be pleased to learn that he was sitting 93-95 mph and hit 96 a few times early in the game. The slider and change up were working as well as the only Yankee hitters not to strike out against Sale were Yangervis Solarte and Brian Roberts. Robin Ventura was able to resist his persistent urge to pitch Sale into oblivion as Sale was only allowed to throw 86 pitches.
The first runs of the game were scored in the bottom of the second inning. After Konerko doubled to the right field wall, De Aza followed up with a ground-rule double to the left field corner for the first run of the night. With De Aza on second and Flowers on first due to a walk, Adam Eaton singled to left, scoring De Aza to make it 2-0 in favor of the White Sox.
Beckham struck out three times against Phelps but redeemed himself in the eighth with a double that was nearly over the wall for a homer. He was eventually knocked in by a Dunn single to make it 3-0.
David Phelps didn't pitch poorly either. He allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings pitched. For a pitcher that barely cracked 90 mph I was surprised that he racked up eight strike outs against one walk. He had his curveball working tonight though, which kept White Sox hitters off balance.
The White Sox bullpen continued pitching well despite a scare by Belasario in the ninth. Putnam and Webb needed only 21 pitches combined, of which 13 where strikes, to retire the Yankees in order in the seventh and eighth innings respectively. Belasario took a page from the Addison Reed book on closing as he allowed two runs on two hits, a walk and a passed ball. Fortunately he was able to use his tumbling fastball to put away Alfonso Soriano looking to end the game.
Team Record: 24-25
The next White Sox game is tomorrow, Friday, May 23rd, at 7:10pm against the Yankees. The game will be held at U.S. Cellular Field and those in the Chicagoland area can watch on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.