CHICAGO -- During five starts in the month of June, Chris Sale has struck out 43 in 34 1/3 innings and posted a 3.15 ERA. Those impressive numbers, including a 14-strikeout game against Houston and a 13-strikeout effort against the Mets on Tuesday, are good enough for a 0-4 record.
"It's peculiar, I guess, from the outside looking in," a smiling Sale said. "But this is baseball. Crazy things happen."
Sale became the first pitcher since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2004 to make two starts in a season with eight-plus innings and 13-plus strikeouts and not earn a win in either. He also has received just nine runs of support during this winless stretch, but Sale doesn't seem to mind the extra challenge.
"Look at what happened last year," Sale said. "There were times I was running out in the third inning with an 8-0 lead or 4-0 after the first. You just have to work a little bit harder for it. I'm fine with that. I like pitching in those games. I want to be that guy to win those 2-1 and 3-1 games."
"It's just hard luck," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "It can be frustrating, but it's all part of what has been going on here. To his credit, he's still going out preparing and doing everything else. It's all he really can do."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.