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posted: 7/8/2013 5:30 AM

Rongey: Sale, Crain all-star nods well-deserved

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale's won-loss record doesn't indicate just how strong he has been this season, but his all-star selection gives him some much-deserved recognition.

    White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale's won-loss record doesn't indicate just how strong he has been this season, but his all-star selection gives him some much-deserved recognition.
    Associated Press


It was just last week we highlighted the unsuccessfully successful season for pitcher Chris Sale, whose losing streak now sits at six games despite being one of the top five pitchers in the American League this year.

Well, nothing changed over the weekend as Sale dealt for 7 innings and allowed just a pair of runs yet was handed a loss because the baseball cosmos hates him.

The stink of it is that the White Sox' offense, in general, actually has improved from what it was doing in April and May. Just not when Sale pitches.

Five times during that losing streak, the Sox have given him support of 1 run or fewer. Which really doesn't make any sense because he's not a bad guy and hasn't really done anything to taunt karma or anything, as far as I know.

But Sale is doing his job, and there isn't much else he can do about that other thing, unless the AL decides to lose the designated hitter and he starts blasting home runs every time he hits.

Back here in reality, though, it isn't all terrible for Sale as he's receiving some much-deserved recognition for his work.

For the second straight season Sale is an all-star. And he happens to be the first White Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle in 2005 and 2006 to be named to the squad in consecutive seasons.

He's only the seventh pitcher in the history of the franchise who has done so, along with names such as Buehrle, Pierce, and Wood.

It's an honor, and it's earned. Sale has been one of the few things to cheer in this disappointing 2013 season, and his selection was no surprise.

Believe it or not, he isn't the only one who merits acknowledgment. As a reliever, Jesse Crain has been as good as anyone in baseball, and better than just about everybody, with maybe an exception or two.

In fact, no reliever in all of baseball has a better Wins Above Replacement than Crain does. Simply put, he has been terrific.

The only unfortunate truth of Crain's all-star selection by manager Jim Leyland is the fact that he will be unable to play in the game because of his injury.

However, it must be a wonderful feeling for the type of player (relief pitcher) who doesn't usually enjoy the greatest of odds in being chosen for the Mid-Summer Classic.

It isn't often a non-closer will get the honor, and it's very likely the only chance Crain will ever have in getting there. So he will enjoy it as he should, even though he won't be able to enjoy it from the mound.

Oddly, in this Sox season, it seems fitting that Crain would have the year he's having only to be unable to play in the game itself.

This year there are few pitchers more worthy than Crain and Sale. You just wish the team had been able to make better use of what they've done.

•Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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