White Sox ace Chris Sale has gotten off to a great start this season, having allowed just nine runs in his first 43.1 innings. His strikeout rate has been a bit lower than usual—just 7.9 per nine innings compared to last year’s absurd 11.8 per nine—but he’s still my favorite punch-out artist in the game. That’s because he can strike a guy out while also beaning him square in the knee:
I’ve seen plenty of guys swing through a slider that hits them on the back foot, but this is something else. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a batter get owned so thoroughly by a single pitch.
There are a lot of great, dominant pitchers in baseball today, but I’ll take Chris Sale and his ability to make professional hitters look downright stupid over any of them.