By: Jake Perda
We’re here. It took 71 games, but we’re finally here. The Boston Red Sox have claimed sole possession of first place in the American League East. While the Yankees were back in New York adding yet another game to their now 7 game losing streak, Chris Sale took the mound in Kansas City and did he what Chris Sale does. He dominated.
Chris Sale turned in his longest outing in a Red Sox uniform by going 8 ⅓ innings while allowing 3 ER and striking out 10. This is the 10th time in 15 starts that Sale has struck out 10 batters or more, and the Red Sox are now 11-4 in games that Chris Sale takes the mound. Not to mention, Sale remains atop the MLB in innings pitched (107.1) and strikeouts (146). That’s pretty damn impressive. But what I love most about Chris Sale is that he is a complete psychopath. Even after completely dominating a strong Kansas City lineup, he refuses to be satisfied. Take notes Pablo Sandoval.
While Chris Sale was out there punching out 10 batters (again), the Sox offense steamrolled the Kansas City pitching staff. Usually when a team puts up 8 runs, you expect that they must’ve hit a bunch of homers. But this wasn’t the case. The offense finally did what they were constructed to do and scored via a barrage of singles with some timely doubles that put runs on the board. Despite another 0 for 4 performance from Hanley, Sox fans were given a lot to feel good about. Sam Travis had a nice RBI double, Xander went 2 for 5, moving his average to .321 on the year, and Deven Marrero went 2 for 2 with a walk in place of Pablo Sandoval. That’s a pretty solid night right there.
The Sox take on Kansas City one more time before heading back to Boston for a 7-game homestand. It’s hard to feel good about any game in which Drew Pomeranz is the probable starter, but the Royals are actually pitching someone who is worse. The Royals starter, Ian Kennedy, boasts a 1-6 record and a 5.03 ERA in 12 starts this season. The boys with the bats should be champing at the bit right now because they should be in for a big day. But in the meantime, let’s just enjoy first place.