SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Twenty-two strikeouts over 24 innings placed Chris Sale as the Cactus League leader in that category entering Friday night's contests. Even though the lanky left-hander, who turned 23 on Friday, quite possibly has the best raw stuff on the White Sox staff, he isn't worried about big strikeout numbers in his first season as a starter.
To reinforce this particular point, Sale had to ask his mom and wife how many he recorded during Thursday's victory over the Dodgers. The correct answer was seven, without issuing a walk.
"Strikeouts are great, but at the same time, you still want to attack early and often," Sale said. "That's the game plan: Get strike one and an out in three or four pitches. If that out happens to be a strikeout, then great. It's not a goal of mine to go into each game and have X amount of strikeouts."
With the innings total placed upon Sale's arm being watched in his first season as a starter and some equally young arms behind him in the bullpen, Sale realizes fewer pitches lead to a greater chance for far-ranging team and personal success.
"At the end of the day, it would be better for us as a pitching staff if I was throwing less pitches and feeling better next time out," Sale said. "Thirteen strikeouts is cool, but if you are going six innings with 120 pitches with 13 K's, that's probably not as good as a lower pitch count with less strikeouts but more innings."