White Sox

White Sox: Chris Sale not concerned with tying MLB strikeout record

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White Sox: Chris Sale not concerned with tying MLB strikeout record

ST. LOUIS — What’s Chris Sale more proud of: tying a major league strikeout record or getting his first career hit?

It’s actually not much of a debate. The hit wins.

Sale was far more concerned with getting the ball from his third-inning broken-bat single than he was after striking out Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta to clinch his eighth consecutive start with 10 or more strikeouts, which tied Pedro Martinez’s 1999 record. The hit — and his ensuing slide into home to score the first run of what turned out to be a 2-1 White Sox win — was something Sale smiled about after the game.

“I’m not going to sit here and act like I did it on purpose,” Sale laughed. “I got lucky, I broke my bat, so that’s about as cheap of a hit as you possibly can get.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Chris Sale does it again as White Sox outlast Cardinals]

When it came to his more historically significant accomplishment, though, Sale was quick to deflect attention away from it.

“Probably the least of anybody, really,” Sale said when asked how much attention he paid to equaling Martinez’s record. “Those kinds of things don’t really matter to me. People that know me know it is what it is really. It’s cool that’s stuff you talk about later on. You start worrying about stuff like right now, and we won’t be talking about that anymore for sure.”

Only two other pitchers besides Sale and Martinez have struck out double digit batters in seven straight starts — the others being Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Sale’s streak began with 10 strikeouts May 23 against Minnesota, and he followed that with 12, 13, 14, 12, 14, 10 and 12 strikeouts, totaling 97 over those eight starts. Martinez struck out 107 in his eight-game stretch 16 years ago.

While Sale allowed five runs in his previous start in Minnesota and the White Sox are only 4-4 during his streak (Boston went 7-1 during Martinez’s), it hasn’t detracted from his dominance.

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get a Chris Sale jersey right here]

“It’s just hard to keep finding adjectives for him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s great, again the numbers he’s piling up and the people that he keeps getting grouped in with and come up when you mention his name are impressive. They’re some of the greatest pitchers that have ever played our game.”

Sale, though, isn’t willing to look up and admire his accomplishments just yet. There’s still half a season to be played, and the White Sox are still nine games under .500.

At some point Sale will reflect on matching — or, if his next start goes well, breaking — a major league record, but it’s not now.

“It’s stuff you think about when you are a kid and stuff,” Sale said. “There’s a time and a place for that stuff, and it’s not now, not here. So, like I said in the offseason maybe we’ll kick it around a little bit, but I still have a job to do.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.