This past offseason, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the bold decision to trade away Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, two of the top prospects in all of baseball, for then-Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale. While many questioned the move, saying the Red Sox gave up too much in the deal, no one was upset about Sale being on the team.
There were a lot of question marks regarding Sale once he landed on his new team. Some questioned whether Sale would fall victim to the dreaded "first year curse," which encompasses many talented players in their first year in Boston (See Carl Crawford). Others wondered whether Sale's odd delivery would eventually result in Tommy John, following in suit with Carson Smith. Nonetheless, Sale's first three starts in a Red Sox uniform have been nothing short of otherworldly.
In 21 2/3 innings, Sale has given up only three runs and 11 hits, while punching out 29 batters and walking only five. To put these numbers in perspective, lets take a look at Pedro Martinez' 1998 season. In 23 innings, Martinez relinquished one run on 12 hits, while striking out 32 and walking seven. Unfortunately, Sale has not received the run support that an offense like Boston should give him, which has resulted in him only registering one win, but that will come in due time.
Not too bad, right?
If you have been following Sale's career for the past couple of years, these numbers should not overly surprise you. As a White Sox, Sale dominated in the American League Central, but unfortunately received little-to-no run support in a truly putrid franchise. Through 150 starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, no pitcher has registered more strikeouts (1,149) than Sale. Simply put, like Martinez, every fifth day when Sale takes the ball, it is must-see television for not only Red Sox fans, but fans of the game of baseball.