the idea was a memorable night for the Red Sox, as their ace, Chris Sale, fashioned a masterpiece, striking out 17 batters in seven innings, a few short of a major league record.
Unfortunately, after the Red Sox pulled Sale, Brandon Workman blew the save, in addition to the team managed to lose to the Colorado Rockies, 5-4, in 11 innings on a cold Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
inside seventh inning, with 14 strikeouts to his credit, Sale gave up a two-run shot to Nolan Arenado. He still led, 3-2. He then struck out three more batters inside inning to reach 17.
The major league record of 20 was looming. the idea was set by a Red Sox player, Roger Clemens, in addition to matched by Clemens (again), Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson in addition to Max Scherzer. however Sale was at 108 pitches, in addition to Manager Alex Cora decided in which was enough.
(Tom Cheney struck out 21 players in a game in 1962 for the Washington Senators, however the idea came over 16 innings, in addition to 20 can be generally recognized as the record.)
The pitchers with 18 or more strikeouts all pitched at least eight innings; Sale’s 17 strikeouts were the most by any pitcher throwing seven innings, breaking the record of 16 held by Johnson (three times) in addition to a few others.
Johnson still holds the record for most Ks in a game in which went the wrong way. In 1997, he fanned 19 A’s in nine innings however gave up four earned runs in addition to took the loss.
As for keeping Sale in a little longer, Cora told reporters: “There’s a bigger goal here, in addition to we’ve been very disciplined throughout the process.” Of Sale’s reaction he said, “inside tunnel he goes, ‘You’re not going to let me get 20?’ Sarcastic, however probably serious too.”
Even after Sale was removed, the Rockies managed to strike out seven more times, for a game total of 24. in which ties for the second highest total in baseball history in a win. The Brewers fanned 26 times in addition to still beat the Angels in a 17-inning game in 2004.
Sale has thrown more than 108 pitches numerous times in his career, including six times last season as well as on April 28 in which year, when he threw 111. His record total can be 127 through 2014.
Sale said after the game: “You got 17 punchouts, you definitely want to go out for the last inning. however I respect him as much as anybody on the planet, in addition to I’ll never question anything he does.”
Sale started off the game with six straight Ks, in addition to many of his whiffs were of the extremely nasty variety, in some cases generating batters look quite bad.
Sale has been one of baseball’s best pitchers, with seven consecutive All-Star selections in addition to six consecutive years as a top several Cy Young vote-getter. however he started off the season with several losses in his first six starts.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat the idea,” he said on April 17. “I just flat-out stink right right now. I don’t know what the idea can be.”
He seems to be turning the idea around in May though, with three starts, all with double-digit strikeouts, ending with two Red Sox wins in addition to Tuesday’s unfortunate loss.
Sale’s previous high in strikeouts was 15, achieved three times. (The Red Sox lost one of those games too, to the Blue Jays in extra innings last May.) The game had the highest strikeout total by a Red Sox player not named Clemens.
The cold weather — 44 degrees at the game’s start — may have been a factor. Pitchers tend to benefit form cooler temperatures, in addition to all several of the 20-strikeout games in major league history came in April, May or September.