Chris Sale will be the first to tell you his 2019 season has been a disappointing one, but he returned to ace form on Thursday night.
The Angels had no answer for the left-hander as he cruised through eight shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out 13. Two-time American League MVP Mike Trout was a victim of three of those K's.
Following his team's 3-0 loss to the Sox, Trout said Sale looked like the same pitcher that's been dominating the game for the last 10 years.
“I think when he has his good stuff, you see it,” Trout told The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “He looked the same to me. Pretty nasty to me.”
Trout, who actually boasts great career numbers vs. Sale, explained why the seven-time All-Star can be so tough to face.
“The angle (is tough), and I think it was 95 or something," Trout told Jennings. “That’s why he’s an ace. He’s got good stuff. He mixes up his fastball speeds and keeps you off-balance, and once he gets to two strikes, he can pump one up to 98. Just a tough at-bat. You can’t miss your pitch on him.”
With his stellar performance, Sale became the fifth player in MLB history to tally 200+ strikeouts in seven straight seasons. He'll look to carry that momentum into his next few starts as the Red Sox aim to make a run in the AL wild-card race, where they're currently 5.5 games behind.
As for Trout, the 28-year-old is enjoying yet another MVP-caliber campaign. He leads the AL in home runs (38), RBI (89), OPS (1.106), and WAR (7.3).
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