Chris Sale will get an extra day of rest, having his next start flipped from Sunday against Baltimore to Monday against Toronto. And — not by design — the White Sox decision to push Sale back a day will set him up to face former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
“We didn't do it because of that, but you now notice it,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It could be a quick game.”
With Carlos Rodon having his last turn in the rotation skipped, the White Sox had flexibility in deciding when he could make his next start. That flexibility allowed Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper to start him Sunday on nine days rest and give Sale five days between starts.
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“This isn't anything to do with him health wise, he's not complaining about anything,” Ventura said. “It's just more of being able to give him an extra day. We've done it in the past where whenever we had a chance we'd take care of him. And just the way the schedule worked out, we had a couple off days this week, we can shuffle that around and drop Carlos in and I don't think the extra day is necessarily going to help him because he's had an extended time off.
“It's just being able to take care of Chris. He doesn't care one way or the other. I think if he cared it would have probably been maybe a something little different.”
If Sale strikes out 10 or more Blue Jays on Monday, he’ll set a major league single-season record for most consecutive starts with double digit strikeouts. The 26-year-old left-hander tied Pedro Martinez’s record with eight straight starts with 10-plus strikeouts Tuesday night in St. Louis.
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On Thursday, Sale earned American League Pitcher of the Month honors for June, and he’s all but certain to be named to the AL All-Star roster on Monday. But the left-hander, as he’s done all year, deflected attention from his personal accolades and heaped praise on his catcher, Tyler Flowers.
“It's cool. It's something to kick around, talk about, later on down the road,” Sale said. “I definitely appreciate it, people looking at what we've done together with Flow, this past month. There's a lot of hard work that goes into it so it's nice to see that it's paying off for both of us. But like I said before, I'm not going to sit here and be focused on that.
“… I definitely know it's more than people think and (Flowers) doesn't get near the credit he should get because he's the one basically doing all the homework, doing all the studying. He's the brains of the operation. I'm just out there following his lead, really. As much as I'm getting, he should get just as much if not more. He's the driver of the car.”