Chris Sale was in Cy Young form during a 2-0 Red Sox victory on Tuesday night against the Rays. Over eight scoreless innings, he allowed just two hits (both singles), walked only one batter and dazzled with 13 strikeouts, increasing his MLB-leading total to 229 on the season. He did all this with basically no margin for error, either -- it was a 1-0 game until the ninth.
Some of Sale's finest work on the night came in the sixth inning, which began on this knee-buckling slider to Mallex Smith:
Smith pulled back on the bunt thinking this pitch wasn't going to be close to the plate, but, well, that's Sale's slider.
A couple batters later, Sale faced Trevor Plouffe. On a 2-2 count, Sale once again turned to that same wicked pitch. Plouffe had no chance:
It was a classic back-foot slider, but given the arc, it's hard to blame him for the swing. Sale is just a machine.