Other than watching baseball, I spend a good amount of my free time watching television shows. This part of the year in particular is loaded with good TV. Right now, The Leftovers, Better Call Saul, The Americans and Fargo all have their own day of the weeks. It’s pretty cool. And yet, none of them are the best part of the week. In any other year, that would probably be true, but this is no normal year. This is the year of Chris Sale.
The newest arm on the Red Sox pitching staff has taken the city by storm through just three starts. Usually, this is the time in which I’d warn you about small samples and getting to excited and generally just try to bring down your mood. Not this time. Sale has been every bit as good as advertised and does it in the most exciting way possible. His fastball reaches the mid-to-high 90’s, and his slider can make any hitter in the league look silly.
There’s just something special about watching him pitch. Sale has an insane ability to control the strike zone, already racking up 29 strikeouts through 21 1⁄3 innings with just five walks. Even better, he does so at a pace that makes it impossible to look away. Per Fangraphs, he has the 13th quickest pace among the 109 qualified pitchers in the league. Being fast doesn’t make one a good pitcher, nor does it make you exciting to watch. But when you combine a quick pace with the kind of stuff Sale has, it only serves to make the day more enjoyable.
I will never compare anyone to Pedro Martinez, who caused a buzz in Fenway that we have never seen and will likely never see again. Sale isn’t on that level. However, he’s as close as anyone has gotten since. There’s nothing like the buzz a dominant pitcher brings, and Sale has that aura. Thursday is Sale Day, which means that this week, Thursday is the best day of the week.