MIAMI — Chris Sale is starting in the All-Star Game for the second year in a row, the first pitcher to do so since Randy Johnson did it for the National League in 2000-01. The last American League pitcher to have back-to-back starts was Dave Stieb, in 1983-84.
"I’ve been very lucky to be where I'm at right now," Sale said. "This is special. I’m excited for it."
Sale, who grew up less than two hours away, noted friends and family will be around.
"It’s a big deal. There’s a lot going on," Sale said "But I like to sit back and being able to soak this in as well."
A.L. All-Star manager Brad Mills, filling in for the Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona, announced Sale as the starter for Tuesday night’s game at a press conference at Marlins Park on Monday afternoon. Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals will start for the N.L.
Sale is the first in Midsummer Classic history to start the game in consecutive years as a member of two different teams.
"Have that transition going as smoothly as it has been, this is a fun time," Sale said. "I love coming to the All-Star game."
Sale, with the White Sox last season, allowed a first-inning home run to Kris Bryant of the Cubs and struck out one in his one-inning All-Star start last year in San Diego.
The Red Sox lefty’s dominance since coming over from in the off-season trade for the White Sox made him the expected pick this year.
Sale’s accomplishments in this season are many. He’s 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA, 178 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 18 starts. No pitcher has had that many strikeouts at the break since Curt Schilling had 186 in 19 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002.
The only other Red Sox pitcher to lead the majors in K’s at the break is Roger Clemens, who had 123 in 1991 and 186 in 1988.
Per FanGraphs, Sale’s been worth 5.3 wins above replacement so far this season, more than any pitcher in the majors.