CHICAGO -- Rain threatened to mess up the Chicago White Sox's pitching plans in both the present and the future, but neither ended up happening Tuesday.
Chris Sale was able to pitch only three innings after a nearly two-hour delay interrupted his outing, but the White Sox still looked at the positives of the situation since they managed to close out a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Sale threw only 40 pitches, but manager Robin Ventura said he doesn’t plan to bring back his left-hander any earlier than five days. That means a marquee matchup of Sale versus the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw could still end up happening Monday at Dodger Stadium.
“He’ll wait the five [games],” Ventura said. “It’s at the point where he’s coming back and doing what he’s doing. There’s no reason to [pitch any earlier].”
The bonus for the White Sox is the light workload also will help Sale continue the process of easing back from the sore arm that had him on the disabled list for five weeks.
“Physically and mentally, I feel as good as I’ve ever felt,” Sale said. “My fastball command is as good as it’s been in a long time. Throwing my changeup and slider consistently for strikes helps out a lot, too. [Catcher Tyler Flowers] back there, he knows me more than I know myself. He guides me through this and the whole year, I don’t think I’ve shaken him off once. A lot of credit goes to him for knowing what I need to do more than I need to.”
With Sale out, Scott Carroll picked up three innings of his own, Jake Petricka threw two innings and Ronald Belisario closed it out with a perfect ninth inning. Carroll tried using the long delay to his advantage.
“I treated it the way I would prepare for a start, but obviously it’s not the same on a day’s rest,” he said. “It was a good situation, and I just tried to do the best I could. I wanted to get out there and try and help the team win as much as possible.”
Sale knew what he was up against Tuesday with the elements.
“I knew the rain was coming,” he said. “I just didn’t want to acquiesce to the conditions or the rain or anything that affected me so, I just wanted to stay the course, go out there like it was a normal one and do my part.”