Two pitching titans in the American League will face off against one another on Friday when Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners faces Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox in Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Sale hosts Hernandez and the visiting Mariners on Friday in the second game the two have faced off against one another as starters over their careers, as the Mariners and White Sox open a three-game weekend series.
The pair last met head to head on August 21, 2015 when the White Sox dominated the Mariners 11-4.
Both Hernandez and Sale enter the opener of the series today coming off strong outings. Sales defeated the Oakland Athletics with eight shutout innings earning just his first win in over a month and a half. The southpaw ace of the White Sox over his past six outings was 0-4 with an ERA of 4.43 prior to his win against Oakland.
Sales said his last outing was a way of getting over a big hump. He added that the past couple of times out he was not as good as he has been or as good as, he needed to be to win, but the most recent outing against the A’s changed that for him.
Meanwhile, Hernandez gave up a pair of runs over eight innings in his victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mariners ace is 4-0 with an ERA of 3.80 in his past seven appearances since he came of Seattle’s disabled list.
During his past start, Hernandez used his changeup at a rate of 37.5 % of the time or 41 of his 109 pitches. This year, 37 of 57 strikeouts by Hernandez have come via his changeup.
The White Sox are out of any playoff race sitting 11 games behind in the American League Central at 61-65. However, the Mariners are in second place in the AL West 7.5 games behind the first place Texas Rangers.
Seattle is also just three games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second and final wildcard spot in the AL. Ahead of the Mariners by one game in the wildcard race are the Detroit Tigers.
Seattle has sputtered of late winning just 4 of its past 10 games overall after going on a strong run following the All-Star break to get back into the playoff race.