In terms of strikeouts, the three-time AL All-Star's month ranks in history as one of the most prolific in MLB history. With a minimum of 25.0 innings pitched, his SO/9 was the highest ever for the month of June, ranking only behind 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson (15.8 in July 2001) and Kerry Wood (15.4 in May 1998) for the highest of any month. His 75 cumulative strikeouts rank as the second-highest total of all-time for the month of June, trailing only Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan's 87 strikeouts in 1977. Sale, Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (76 in May 1965), Sam McDowell (76 in May 1968) and the aforementioned Ryan (five different months) are the only pitchers in the last 100 years to record 75-plus strikeouts in a single month. Making his 100th career start against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Tuesday, Chicago's 1st round selection (13th overall) in the 2010 MLB Draft delivered eight innings of one-run ball with 12 strikeouts in a tough-luck no decision.
The six-year veteran joined 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in Major League history to record 10-plus strikeouts in eight consecutive starts. The Florida Gulf Coast University product has gone 3-3 with a 1.80 ERA and 97 strikeouts during his streak, which began on May 23rd vs. Minnesota, compared to 6-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 107 strikeouts for Martinez during his run with Boston from August 19 - September 27, 1999. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sale, Martinez and Johnson are the only pitchers in history to strike out 12 or more batters in five consecutive starts. With his recent brilliance, the Lakeland, Florida native is on pace to log a franchise-record 305 strikeouts, which would be the highest total in the Majors since the Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002. His 12.28 strikeouts per nine innings would be the highest total for a starting pitcher in the Majors since The Big Unit averaged 13.41 in 2001.
Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.54 ERA, 33.1 IP, 25 SO) of the Texas Rangers; Clay Buchholz (4-0, 2.21 ERA, 40.2 IP, 34 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; Taijuan Walker (4-1, 2.36 ERA, 34.1 IP, 36 SO) and Mike Montgomery (3-2, 1.62 ERA, 44.1 IP, 29 SO) of the Seattle Mariners; Chris Archer (4-1, 2.63 ERA, 41.0 IP, 51 SO) of the Tampa Bay Rays; David Price (3-0, 2.02 ERA, 35.2 IP, 37 SO) of the Detroit Tigers; Zach Britton (9 SV, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP, 14 SO) of the Baltimore Orioles; and Greg Holland (9 SV, 3.12 ERA, 8.2 IP, 12 SO) of the Kansas City Royals.
The American League Pitcher of the Month, Chris Sale, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.