Left-handed pitcher Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox has been named American League Pitcher of the Month for June.
Sale, 26, went 2-2 with a 1.83 ERA (9 ER/44.1 IP) and 75 strikeouts in six starts to become the first White Sox pitcher to win the award since May 2012 when Sale received his first career monthly honor.
He led the major leagues in strikeouts and strikeouts per 9.0 IP (15.23) in June and ranked among the AL leaders in opponents on-base percentage (1st, .219), innings (T1st), opponents average (3rd, .176), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4th, 9.38) and ERA (5th).
Some other noteworthy accomplishments by Sale:
- His 75 strikeouts broke Juan Pizarro’s franchise monthly record of 61 set in August 1961 and were the most in the major leagues since Nolan Ryan set the modern-day record of 87 with California in June 1977.
- Sale, Sandy Koufax (76 in May 1965), Sam McDowell (76 in May 1968) and Ryan (five different months) are the only pitchers in the last 100 years to record 75-plus strikeouts in a single month (STATS LLC).
- His average of 15.23 strikeouts per 9.0 IP this June is the third-highest monthly total in major-league history behind Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson (15.79 in July 2001) and Kerry Wood (15.43 in May 1998).
- Has joined Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in major-league history to strike out 10 or more batters in eight consecutive starts. He also fanned 12-plus batters in five straight starts from May 28-June 19, joining Martinez and Johnson as the only pitchers in history to accomplish that feat.
- Leads the majors with 141 strikeouts, the second-highest total in White Sox history before the All-Star Break, one behind Wilbur Wood’s mark of 142 set in 1973.
- Is on pace to record a franchise-record 301 strikeouts, which would be the highest total in the major leagues since teammates Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) with Arizona in 2002.
- His average of 12.28 strikeouts per 9.0 IP would be the highest total for a starting pitcher in the majors since Johnson averaged 13.41 in 2001.
- Sale, who is attempting to join LHP Billy Pierce (1955-59) as the only pitchers in Sox history to make at least four straight All-Star Teams, has gone 4-3 with a 1.78 ERA (15 ER/76.0 IP) and 115 strikeouts over his last 10 starts.
- His 766 strikeouts through his first 100 career starts are the highest total in major-league history, according to Elias.
- Has struck out 10 or more batters 27 times in 100 career starts, 12 or more 16 times and has recorded six games with 10-plus strikeouts and no walks.