Originally Posted by WLL1855
I'd argue that if Chris Sale had more complete games right now, he'd be a better pitcher statistically.
I've pondered that. I think he would have more wins. I don't know if he would have a better ERA. In his start last week, he left in the eighth without giving up any runs. He might have given up a couple of runs had he stayed in, but he was unlikely to have blown the 6-0 the bullpen blew in the ninth. There was a similar earlier loss where the bullpen allowed a couple of runners to score after he left them on base in the eighth in a game the Sox eventually lost. Maybe those runs wouldn't have scored if he had pitched a complete game that night. Maybe if he's leading 6-1 and walks a guy in the ninth, the runner goes second on defensive indifference and scores on a couple of groundouts. There are situations where teams give up runs for outs where they would the runs would be contested earlier simply because those runs are meaningless.
As it is, Sale leads the league with only a few complete games because managers across baseball use their closers and set-up men so heavily when they have the lead. Really, if complete games are part of Sale's repertoire, part of what makes him an elite pitcher, I'm surprised he isn't pitching more complete games.
I like Chris Sale's future, probably more than any other pitcher in the American League. I don't think he's had a Cy Young season. I expect he will be a better pitcher next season. I don't believe Sale, who has averaged giving up almost one earned run an inning in four starts against Cleveland, who had an April ERA in excess of 4 despite starting an opening day shutout, whose month ERAs for four of the six months of this baseball season were appreciably higher than his ERA for the entire season, has had a consistent 2013.