CHICAGO -- The highly anticipated Chris Sale-Clayton Kershaw pitching matchup Monday at Dodger Stadium has been put on hold until the next Interleague series between these two teams -- or a possible future World Series meeting.
Sale had his start moved up to Sunday, as announced by the White Sox on Friday afternoon. The move makes sense on a number of different levels.
After throwing three hitless innings and 40 pitches before a nearly two-hour rain delay Tuesday against the Indians, Sale will be coming back on regular rest because of Thursday's scheduled off-day. He gets another start at home, meaning another chance for the popular "K Zone for Sale" promotion in Sections 154 and 155 at U.S. Cellular Field. He also faces the Angels on Saturday, June 7, with Thursday standing as another scheduled off-day in Los Angeles.
Even without the move to Sunday, Sale would have pitched against the Angels in Anaheim. But he would have gone Sunday and been the one starter of the White Sox five to miss the ensuing four-game home set against the Tigers. Sale has a career 2-0 record with a 0.60 ERA over four games at Angel Stadium, and a 4-4 mark and 3.00 ERA lifetime against the Tigers.
"Just how he was feeling, how little he threw the last time and in talking to him, going over it the last couple days, we just felt like it was better to get him in there as quick as you could and he would be fine," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura on the reason for moving Sale. "So he says he feels great."
"Whenever they need me or my name is called, I'm going out there," Sale said. "It just so happens to be Sunday, which for me makes sense because I only threw three innings. So go out there on regular rest and get it going, try to find a groove."
Ventura said that Sale likes to pitch at home, which factored into the decision, and there was some desire for him to remain on regular rest in between starts. The White Sox ace has allowed one run on three hits over 20 innings covering his last four starts -- including a Minor League rehab effort with Triple-A Charlotte -- while striking out 35 and walking six. He did have one problem with the move in that he wanted to swing the bat on Monday.
When reminded he would have to hit against Kershaw, Sale smiled and changed his tune.
"I guess that's the double-edged sword right there, wanting to hit and then having to hit against him," Sale said. "I did it two years ago, and it wasn't that fun. Not at all. I'll let those guys take him down."