Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 6/4/12

In four games from last Tuesday through last Saturday, the Mariners scored 45 runs, which was roughly the same number of runs that they'd scored in the previous two seasons combined. Yesterday, the universe acted to restore order, using Chris Sale as its agent. Sale pitched a complete game against the M's in Chicago, limiting them to two runs on two walks and five hits and pulling the string on Hawk Harrelson's back that makes him say "He gone!" on eight separate occasions.

That was nothing new for Sale, who was just picking up where he left off after winning the AL Pitcher of the Month award for May. The lefty hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start this season. It's a wonder to watch him pitch.

It's also an ordeal to watch him pitch. This picture from the second inning of yesterday's game explains in a way that words never could why Sale starts are simultaneously terrific and terrifying.

The first thing to notice is that Alex Liddi's Italian Little League coach forgot to tell him to keep his eye on the ball. Liddi appears to be staring at third base while he swings, as if coming to the realization that that is the position he plays, and that it exists even when he's not playing it. It might look like the ball he's missing is heading down toward the dirt, but it's actually bouncing up, having already hit the dirt a few foot in front of home plate (where the the mini dirt explosion is). And that's why Sale starts are wonderful: you're apt to see swings like that on 80-mph sliders. Granted, Liddi strikes out a lot, but he hasn't swung or chased all that often, and the previous pitch was a 78-mph slider, so this was the second consecutive slider of about the same speed that he'd seen. Inducing a swing like that in the major leagues is pretty impressive, even if the major leaguer is Liddi.

But whatever you do, don't look above Chris Sale's head, because you might see OH GOD WHY DON'T THEY CALL OUT THE TRAINER oh never mind Chris Sale's arm always looks like he's trying to scratch his back with his glove in the most painful way possible. This picture makes it look like Chris Sale fell out a fifth-story window, landed on his arm, then drove to the park to start against Seattle. If you stare at Sale long enough, you actually start to forget what a human body is supposed to look like. After I looked too long, I had to write the rest of this post with one hand while massaging my arm with the other.

This post isn't an attempt at mechanical analysis. I'm not trying to point out anything about the inverted W or make a statement about Sale's prospects for long-term success, tempting as it would be to conclude that a pitcher who throws like that and has already experienced elbow discomfort can't be long for the league. If you want some real analysis of Sale's mechanics, ask Doug Thorburn. No, seriously, ask him. He'll probably answer, and he'll use intelligent terms like "hyperabduction" and "foot strike" and "valgus force" and "trunk rotation." The most intelligent term I can muster to describe what Sale does is "Ow."

It used to be that the most disgusting sight you'd ever see on a pitcher's mound was Randy Johnson's elbow or Randy Johnson's hair:

Now, the even the Big Unit's unsightly anatomy has been displaced by the things Chris Sale's body does. Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I Google image searched Chris Sale. Here are a few of the revolting results:

One of those wasn't actually Sale, but I defy you to figure out which one. No wonder his face always looks like this when he's throwing:

 I want to watch you pitch, Chris, but I wish your mechanics weren't so scary.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs


Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

Tennessee desperate for big win over #19 Georgia

UCLA punter Adam Searl arrested on suspicion of rape

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker