BOSTON — The Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez comparisons have been constant. On Tuesday night, Sale undeniably put himself ahead of Martinez in one way.
Sale’s third strikeout of the evening agains the Blue Jays was the 1,500th of his career, making him the fastest to reach that total in MLB history, based on innings. Sale reached the milestone strikeout in 1,290 innings, breaking Kerry Wood’s record of 1,303.
Pedro Martinez is now the third fastest, getting to 1,500 in 1,337 innings. Randy Johnson did it in 1,365 2/3 innings, followed by Nolan Ryan in 1,384 2/3 innings.
Coming off an uncharacteristically terrible start, Sale struck out the first batter he faced. His third K was a strikeout looking of Kevin Pillar, and the ball was taken out of play.
The review that took place after Sale went just three innings vs. Cleveland last time out didn’t suggest he was tipping, manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto.
"As we've gone back and looked at video, they capitalized on pitches up in the strike zone,” Farrell said. “He's going up against the best hitters in the world — all these things that we know. If you locate down in the strike zone, regardless if someone knows what's coming or not, you’ve got a pretty good chance. I can't say there's anything in his delivery that’s telegraphing or tipping or anything. To me, it was more pitches up in the strike zone that they capitalized on.”
Sale’s been particularly comfortable at Rogers Centre, with a 1.13 ERA there in 40 innings to begin the night.