BALTIMORE — Chris Sale insisted he was unaware of the numbers when he went out for the eighth inning Wednesday night. He only knew that he was closing in on history.
But after he fired a called third strike past the Baltimore Orioles’ Ryan Flaherty, he was very much aware of the rarified air he now occupied.
After all, pitchers who record 300 strikeouts in a single season are far from common, and Sale understood that. In Red Sox history, there are but two: Sale and Pedro Martinez, who holds the club record of 313 in 1999.
He's the first American League pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts this century.