Chris Sale has been everything the Boston Red Sox could have hoped for this season. Sale's dominance has put his team in position to make the postseason and for him to achieve a notable milestone.
Sale became the second pitcher in Red Sox history to reach 300 strikeouts in a season, joining Pedro Martinez, who had 313 in 1999. Martinez is the last American League pitcher to reach the 300 mark.
Sale is the second pitcher in the past three seasons to record 300 strikeouts, joining Clayton Kershaw, who had 301 for the 2015 Dodgers. Left-handed pitchers have had five of the past six 300-strikeout seasons, with Randy Johnson responsible for three of those (1999, 2000 and 2001).
It’s unusual for a left-handed pitcher from the AL to reach this plateau. Johnson is the last to do it in 1993. In all, six different lef-thanded pitchers from the AL have struck out 300 batters.
Per Elias Sports Bureau research, Sale is the fourth different pitcher in the modern era to record 300 strikeouts in his first season with a new team. Johnson was the last to do so; he did it in 1999 with the Diamondbacks. The others are Steve Carlton with the 1972 Phillies and Nolan Ryan with both the 1972 Angels and 1989 Rangers.
Also via Elias research, Sale got to 300 strikeouts in 209⅓ innings. He’s the third-quickest to 300 strikeouts by innings pitched, surpassed only by Johnson (197⅔ in 2001) and Martinez (203⅔ in 1999).
300 By the Numbers: How he did it
259 -- Sale totaled 259 strikeouts against right-handed batters. No one else has totaled 259 strikeouts this season.
152 -- Sale had 152 strikeouts with his fastball, the second-most of any pitcher on a pitch type this season. Chris Archer has 176 strikeouts with his slider.
99 -- Sale had 99 strikeouts with fastballs located in the upper-third of the strike zone or above the top of the zone. Next-most: 77 by Jacob deGrom.
79 -- Sale had 79 strikeouts looking, the most of anyone in the majors.
35 -- Sale had a chase rate of 35 percent on his fastball. Among those pitchers qualified for the ERA title, that ranked second behind one of his teammates, Rick Porcello.
10 -- Aaron Judge has 10 strikeouts in 12 at-bats against Sale. That’s tied for the most strikeouts against him this season. Steven Souza Jr. also has 10.