Tyler Flowers says Chris Sale is the toughest White Sox pitcher to catch.
And it’s not because he’s wild. Sale’s one walk in the Sox’ 2-1 win against the Yankees on Wednesday night was his 36th in 153 innings.
Hearing A.J. Pierzynski describe Sale’s stuff on Wednesday, he would probably second Flowers’ view.
“He throws pitches and I don’t know half of the time what’s coming,” Pierzynski said. “Sometimes I’ll call a fastball, you guys get on his velocity sometimes. … Sometimes, I’ll call one and he’ll throw it 85 and then next one will be 94. One cuts, one sinks, one goes straight. It’s just kind of a guessing game for me out there also. He threw the ball great, he’s been throwing the ball great all year. I’m sure happy we decided to keep him as a starter.”
Flowers said Sale is tough to handle because he hides the ball so well and he delivers from difficult angles. Plus, his slider has so much movement. Hitters deal with the same challenges facing him. Sale gave up three hits, one a homer to Derek Jeter for the Yankees’ only run.
“He made really one mistake and that was the ball Jeter hit,” Pierzynski said. “The way he’s swinging, you can just tell Derek’s feeling it right now and you could just tell he was going to try to hit a homer and he threw one up and he hit it out. Other than that, he was down all night and he had a great slider. He was super aggressive, he had a good changeup going, he moved the ball in and out, kept guys off of it, threw it high when we wanted it high, low when we wanted it low and he just pitched great.”
Sale, who struck out 13 and walked one, pitched on four days rest for the second straight start. His next start, in Baltimore on Tuesday, will come on five days rest. After that, he’ll face the Tigers in Detroit on four days.
“We always feel we have a great chance to win when Chris goes out there,” manager Robin Ventura said.