White Sox

Breaking down Sale's MLB starting debut

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Breaking down Sale's MLB starting debut

Chris Sale's line today: 6 23 innings pitched, one run, three hits, two walks, five strikeouts, nine groundouts, three flyouts, 100 pitches.

Doesn't sound like someone who hasn't started a game in the majors, right?

The thing that pops out is how many ground balls Sale got. A big question coming into this year was about his ability to command the strike zone with dialed-back stuff, and Sale answered that question positively on Monday. He kept the ball low in the zone with a fastball that averaged about 92 miles per hour -- around four miles per hour slower than his average velocity as a reliever.

The key was that Sale didn't try to strike everybody out. He could get away with that as a reliever and often succeeded doing so, but through 100 pitches, he had to be more efficient. And he was. That's extremely encouraging.

Sale's fastball was his best offering on Monday, but his slider and changeup were good as well. He only threw 12 changes -- right in line with his 11.7 percent usage of that pitch as a reliever last year.

It's just one start, but that's an early answer to another Sale question: He's not throwing his changeup more as a starter than as a reliever. And he probably doesn't have to -- 12 pitches in 100 is about right for a third pitch.

Overall, here's how Sale's offerings broke down (via Brooks Baseball): 57 fastballs, 31 sliders, 12 changeups. His percentages in his two years of relieving: 55 percent fastballs, 35 percent sliders, 10 percent changeups. So little has changed in his pitch selection, at least through one start.

There's not much Sale could've done better in his first start. Now he's just gotta do it 30 more times this year.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 'Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia'

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: 'Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia'

With the Cubs back in the NLCS, White Sox fans have had to deal with another post-season of Cubs this and Cubs that. How does one escape it? Diehard White Sox fan John Kass of the Chicago Tribune comes on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his recent column entitled "Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia." Kass talks about how he's dealing with the Cubs success and how White Sox fans can find this safe space. He tells the story about taking the White Sox World Series trophy into a Chicago Tribune board meeting in 2005 to rub it in the faces of the Trib's executives who were all Cubs fans.  

Kass talks about how he watches the Cubs in the playoffs, the Chicago media coverage of their playoff run and how Cubs fans will react if they don't repeat as champions. Garfien and Kass also discuss the White Sox rebuild, the Cubs losing in 2003 and why Kass will be calling Cubs Pre and Post host David Kaplan in the middle of the night if and when the Cubs are eliminated.  

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

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USA TODAY

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

Former White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb died at the age of 28 in an ATV accident on Saturday night, according to Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis.

Davis called it a “tragic accident, and we should rally around the family.”

Webb, a Paducah, Ky. native, was with the White Sox from 2013-16 and went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA.

The White Sox released this statement:

Daniel left many friends within the Chicago White Sox organization, and we are all shocked and stunned by the news of last night's terrible accident. He was a terrific young man with a full life ahead of him. All thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends as they deal with today's tragic news.