Tuesday night the Colorado Rockies became the third team since 1908 to strike out at least 24 times in a major league game and also win. They did it by beating the Boston Red Sox in extra innings, 5–4, on a game-winning RBI single from Mark Reynolds, who knows a thing or two about striking out a lot.
The most disappointed man in all of baseball tonight certainly must be Boston’s Chris Sale, who struck out a whopping 17 Rockies across just seven innings, and walked zero, and allowed just three baserunners, and got stuck with a no-decision and then watched his team absorb an extremely frustrating and impossible-seeming loss.
Sale left with a 3–2 lead after seven innings, but the Rockies got a two-run dinger from Charlie Blackmon off reliever Brandon Workman in the eighth inning, wiping away Sale’s chance at the win and spoiling a historic performance:
Sale became just the eighth starting pitcher since 1908 to strike out at least 17 batters in a no-decision. If it makes him feel any better (it won’t), he joins some pretty elite company: the last two pitchers to experience this rare frustration were Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan, each of whom did it twice. Even after this brilliant performance, Sale’s ERA on the season is still at a chunky 4.24, and he has still recorded just one win on the season. This kind of deeply stupid result will not make Sale feel a whole lot better about the direction his season is taking.