Chris Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since coming into the league, seemingly always keeping his name in the Cy Young Award mix.
The 28-year-old ace pitcher is a strikeout machine, sitting at least 200 batters down in each of the last five seasons. That's the kind of dominance that the Boston Red Sox are thrilled to have in their bullpen now that they've felt his impact in the rotation all season.
The Chicago White Sox moved on from Sale in order to rebuild their roster, but watching him punch through hitters must be a painful process one strike at a time. He's currently on pace to break his own personal best of 274 strikeouts, piled up back during the 2015-2016 season.
All these strikeouts mean he's been building toward career milestones, and Sale became the fastest pitcher to ever throw 1500 strikeouts on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. It took Sale 1290 innings to reach the amazing accomplishment in record time.
That comes out to an average of 1.2 strikeouts per inning while Sale is on the mound, a ridiculous number that points to why he's considered one of the most dominant slingers in the game. He's up to 264 strikeouts with the Red Sox this season, with more than enough time to surpass his old personal-best of 274.
At his current pace, Sale needs just 9.2 innings worth of pitching in order to best his old strikeout plateau, something that seems very achievable for the dominant left-hander. He leads the entire MLB in strikeouts this season.
The next closest pitcher is Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, but even he's seemingly miles away from Sale at 230. That 34-strikeout difference would be enough to drop Scherzer from second-overall in the big leagues to barely hanging onto a spot in the top-five. It's significant.
Look no further than the disaster that is the White Sox bull pen to get a better idea as to how important Sale is. Their top strikeout man is Jose Quintana, but he barely scratches the surface in comparison at 109 Ks. All of their starting pitchers have a minimum of a 4.2 ERA.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are basking in having an ace on the mound once again. Boston's still in a tight race with the New York Yankees in the American League East, but having Sale throwing lights out baseball may be enough to get them across the finish line as a top playoff team.