That Chris Sale guy sure is good. A statistically dominant 8:1 K/BB outing over seven one-run innings that is instantly dismissed from any discussion of the best 20 starts of his still very brief career. Perhaps one of the tricks of managing Sale's workload is his resilience. He doesn't follow a linear path of decline over a start. He started leaving his changeup up in the fourth inning and got hammered for a bit and needed a relay line to save him from a crooked number inning, then corrected the problem and burned worms for the entire fifth. He had to reach back for extra life in his fastball to blow his way through a tight scoring situation and strike out the side in the sixth, then returned with nearly 100 pitches and cruised through a perfect seventh.
- Sale, with his pristine 2.03 ERA and sparkling vocabulary, leads to a lot of longing about what could have been if he had stayed healthy all season. There's always the chance he could be benefiting from the lower accumulation of work. It was a hot night in Chicago, but he sat 94-97 mph.
- Misleading endpoints and all, but after bottoming out at .247/.306/.318 on June 4, Adam Eaton has a .410 OBP after reaching base three more times Monday. It's as if the more successful he becomes, the more manic and pest-like his on-field antics become. After drawing a seventh inning walk, he broke into full sprint to first. Maybe if he gets his OBP up to .380, he'll start clapping his hands and singing a jingle on his way up the line, too. It can pretty much be accepted at this point that he has no power whatsoever, since his one home run on the year was hit into a jet stream, so it's fine to see him cut down his swing with reckless abandon and poke the ball around like he did tonight. His approach is sound after all; he's drawn 19 walks in 36 games since June 4.
- Jose Abreu looked mostly out of sorts all night. Jeremy Guthrie's changeup had him dropping his shoulder and getting out in front with regularity, and he still looked off his timing in the seventh against Aaron Crow, before catching an outside fastball and whipping it down the right field line for a double. He snaps out of funks without warning nor hesitation. Five games without a homer is still his longest drought in a month, though.
- A theoretical Dayan Viciedo/Alejandro De Aza platoon is roughly a ~.780 OPS corner outfielder with poor defense. Separated, and you get nights of Dayan going 0-4, 0-2 with runners in scoring position, seeing 11 pitches all night and dropping his OBP down to .290. Get well soon, Avi.
- Jake Petricka got the closer nod of the night. He blew away the ghost of Billy Butler (He's slugging .346!), gave up a single to placeholder lefty Mike Moustakas and generated a game-ending grounball from another righty, Alcides Escobar. Sometimes these things do follow a pattern.
- After a night of tea and sympathy for the Royals from the Sox broadcast booth, they're now just one game ahead of the rebuilding Sox.
Team Record: 48-52
Next game is Tuesday at 7:10pm CT on CSN vs. Kansas City
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