He’s nearly two months removed from “The Incident” and Chris Sale feels good.
After he threw 116 pitches on Thursday night, his second straight effort of 115 or more, Sale said his arm strength isn’t an issue.
Sale never wavered during a seven-inning start against the Detroit Tigers as he struck out 10 without issuing a walk. The two-time All-Star yielded five hits and just one run as he threw strikes on 78 of 116 pitches.
“Feeling strong,” Sale said. “Trying to build arm strength and that’s how you build it. I’m not going to go out and build arm strength and get into a rhythm throwing 90 pitches every time out. I want to be out there for that."
Sale threw 69 fastballs among his 116 pitches. He made one mistake, leaving a slider up that Victor Martinez hit for a solo homer. But nothing Sale did had manager Robin Ventura thinking he was struggling -- every inning was free and easy.
“He felt great going there and he didn't have that inning where he really had to fight through it and battle,” Ventura said. “He felt great. I talked to him the whole time. He felt pretty comfortable with that."
Minus his rain-shortened start, Sale has averaged seven-plus innings over his other eight outings. He likes being the team’s horse and feels capable.
“I need to be that guy to go 115-120 pitches,” Sale said. “That’s what I’m signed up for.”