Where do Peavy, Sale stack up in Cy Young race?

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Where do Peavy, Sale stack up in Cy Young race?

It's been nine years since the White Sox last had a legitimate contender for the AL Cy Young. Sure, Mark Buehrle probably deserved more than five votes in 2005. But not since Esteban Loaiza in 2003 has there been Cy Young chatter on the South Side.

At the halfway point of 2012, the Sox have two starters who have garnered attention for the award given out to the AL's best pitcher.

Chris Sale's 2.19 ERA is second-best in the league, only topped by the Angels' Jered Weaver. And Jake Peavy, who won the award in the National League five years ago, merits consideration with a 2.85 ERA through his first 17 starts.

Along with Weaver, Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison and Felix Hernandez all deserve recognition.

While it'd be awfully nice if pitcher win-loss records weren't looked at by voters, unfortunately, they are taken into consideration. So that hurts the case of Peavy, who enters the break with a 7-5 record that he doesn't really deserve. Then again, voting is starting to move away from such a generally meaningless statistic, as evidenced by Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke winning the award.

We'll look at Sale and Peavy's case up against Weaver, Verlander and Price, although WilsonHarrisonHernandez could very well pull into the top five at some point this year. Here's the side-by-side breakdown:

SPW-LIPERAKBBHRCGOPSFIPWARSale10-2102.22.19982551.5462.583.5Peavy7-51202.8510826124.6103.342.9Verlander9-5132.22.5812830115.5662.943.8Weaver10-196.21.96732252.5072.942.6Price11-4111.22.8210537101.6473.422.2
Right now, Verlander's probably the favorite to win the award for the second straight year. He's thrown the most innings and complete games and has the most strikeouts -- essentially, he hasn't done anything to lose his grip.

But Weaver looks like a pretty good bet to win the Cy Young, too -- had he not been victimized by a lower back injury that landed him on the DL for a few weeks, he'd likely be ahead of Verlander at the break.

Sale and Peavy certainly have legitimate cases, although Sale probably would be the one to make the top three cut over Peavy. But assuming everyone stays healthy, Sale may not get enough innings to beat out the uber-durable Verlander.

The White Sox are going to do everything in their power to protect the arms of Sale and Peavy, especially if they're going to need them for a few extra weeks in October. That cautious approach may jeopardize both pitcher's chances at winning the Cy Young, although that's hardly a bad thing if it means both are healthy for September and, yes, October.

Right now, a fair ballot would be Verlander-Weaver-Sale, with Peavy at No. 4 and Price at No. 5. At the end of the year, both Sale and Peavy may still be in the discussion, but beating out midseason favorites Verlander and Weaver will be tough.

If it helps, Peavy already has a Cy Young to his name, and this likely won't be the last time Sale inserts himself into the discussion. And that's not to count them out -- it's only mid-July, and there are plenty of things that can happen between now and the end of the season that can affect the race.

Take a step back to early April, before the season started. Few would've expected that Sale's transition to the rotation would go this well and Peavy would stay healthy enough to be effective -- maybe one comes true, but both?

The White Sox are in first place at the All-Star break, and the success of Sale and Peavy has been a main reason why.

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Exclusive interview with Mark Buehrle

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Exclusive interview with Mark Buehrle

On the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien goes 1-on-1 with the star of the weekend, Mark Buehrle.

Buehrle tells an absolutely amazing bachelor party story and discloses why he wore No. 56.

Take a trip down memory lane and listen to the White Sox Talk Podcast here