BOSTON — The Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez comparisons have been constant. On Tuesday night, Sale undeniably put himself ahead of Martinez in one way.
Sale’s third strikeout of the evening agains the Blue Jays was the 1,500th of his career, making him the fastest to reach that total in MLB history, based on innings. Sale reached the milestone strikeout in 1,290 innings, breaking Kerry Wood’s record of 1,303.
Pedro Martinez is now the third fastest, getting to 1,500 in 1,337 innings. Randy Johnson did it in 1,365 2/3 innings, followed by Nolan Ryan in 1,384 2/3 innings.
Coming off an uncharacteristically terrible start, Sale struck out the first batter he faced. His third K was a strikeout looking of Kevin Pillar, and the ball was taken out of play.
The review that took place after Sale went just three innings vs. Cleveland last time out didn’t suggest he was tipping, manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto.
"As we've gone back and looked at video, they capitalized on pitches up in the strike zone,” Farrell said. “He's going up against the best hitters in the world — all these things that we know. If you locate down in the strike zone, regardless if someone knows what's coming or not, you’ve got a pretty good chance. I can't say there's anything in his delivery that’s telegraphing or tipping or anything. To me, it was more pitches up in the strike zone that they capitalized on.”
Sale’s been particularly comfortable at Rogers Centre, with a 1.13 ERA there in 40 innings to begin the night.
Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.
Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.
Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.
The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.
Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.
"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."
Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.
“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”
John Farrell can add another job to his resume.
The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.
The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.
Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.