On Wednesday, Jake Peavy dueled with St. Louis' surprise ace Lance Lynn in a game that ended with a 1-0 score. It was a outstandingly-pitched game played at a crisp pace, with Lynn striking out 12 and Peavy only allowing a solo home run to Carlos Beltran.
Tonight's Clayton Kershaw-Chris Sale matchup (9:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) could be better.
Sale enters the night leading the American League in ERA, and his 2.08 mark is second to Atlanta's Brandon Beachy among major-league starters. He's one of 18 starters averaging a strikeout or more per inning during his rapid rise to extended dominance.
We all knew Sale had filthy stuff and the ability to strikeout opponents by the truckload, but that he's done it as a starter so quickly has been incredibly impressive. Every Sale start is a must-watch.
And when he's facing the reigning National League Cy Young winner? What's the next logical step up from must-watch, be really quick with your bathroomsnack breaks?
Kershaw hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2011, in which he posted a 2.28 ERA with an average of 9.57 strikeouts per nine innings and an 0.98 WHIP. His ERA (2.65) and WHIP (1.00) are both good, but his strikeouts are down (8.259 IP), although that's about the only 'blemish' on his record. Kershaw remains an elite pitcher, boasting a mid-90's fastball with outstanding breaking offerings.
In his last start, Kershaw fanned 12 Mariners, a welcome reminder to those in Los Angeles that he still has it.
Kershaw has started against the White Sox once in his career, that coming in his rookie year of 2008. As a 20-year-old making only his seventh big-league start, Kershaw allowed two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four innings as he and the Dodgers were out-dueled by John Danks and four White Sox relievers.
Now 24, Kershaw -- who threw to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford at Highland Park High School in the Dallas area -- has come into his own with Los Angeles. He hasn't posted an ERA above 3 since his rookie year, and he's someone who very well could take home multiple Cy Youngs in his career.
The Sox hope Sale will follow Kershaw's dominant path as a starter. Tonight, we'll get to see both electric young lefties match up in what looks to be an outstanding battle.