Philadelphia Phillies: Top five moments from the first half of 2017
By John Town
No. 4: Outdueling Chris Sale
The trade of Chris Sale to the Red Sox from the White Sox (swapping sox you could say) was the biggest trade of the offseason. The Red Sox paid a hefty price, giving up top prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe, and Victor Diaz.
So far this year, the trade has been worth the cost. Sale has been utterly dominant, striking out 12.55 batters per nine innings. As of the All-Star Break, he has a 2.75 ERA, 2.09 fielding-independent pitching, 0.90 WHIP, and 5.3 fWAR. The 11-4 pitcher will start for the American League in the All-Star Game Tuesday night.
However, one of those losses came at the hands of the Phillies. When the two teams met June 15, it seemed like an easy win for the Red Sox with Sale on the mound facing off against the inconsistent rookie Nick Pivetta.
Instead, the game became a pitcher’s duel with Pivetta matching Sale for seven innings. Each allowed just four hits with Pivetta striking out nine and Sale striking out 10. The lone run came in the bottom of the eighth when Ty Kelly knocked a pinch-hit double to score Andrew Knapp from first. It was the only blemish of the game for Sale, but with Philadelphia’s pitching being spotless, they were able to steal one from one of the best pitchers in the league.