Chris Sale provided the Braves with an unbelievably dominant performance in May

Atlanta's southpaw had one of the best months in recent MLB history.
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves fans weren't sure what they would get when they traded Vaughn Grissom to the Red Sox in exchange for veteran southpaw Chris Sale. However, they have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of the former Cy Young Award winner.

Sale's start on Saturday afternoon wasn't a great start to June as he allowed eight runs through four innings with one walk and four strikeouts. However, May was one of the best months of his career in recent years. They may as well go ahead and announce Sale as the NL Pitcher of the Month.

He was practically unhittable during May and showed Sale has returned to his former self. Over 32 innings (five starts), Atlanta's lefty only allowed two earned runs with two walks and 45 strikeouts. The Braves won every game he started during the month, earning Sale a 0.56 ERA and a 12.7 K/9 rate.

More impressively, Sale's May performance is one of the best in Braves history since 1910. Baseball Reference shared a graphic on X that showed his May ERA was the lowest by any Atlanta pitcher during a calendar month with at least 30 innings pitched and 45 or more strikeouts.

There are some incredible names on that list, including John Smoltz, who posted a 1.73 ERA in May of 1996.

He battled injuries during his tenure with the Red Sox and it was a gamble for the Braves to take him on. Since he signed his extension with Boston in 2019, Chris threw just 298.1 innings before being moved to Atlanta and he posted a 17-18 record with a 4.16 ERA over that span. Sale had the first healthy and full offseason of his career before the 2024 season and has fueled his great season in Atlanta.

His ERA before Saturday's start against the A's was 2.12 with a 2.13 FIP. Opponents only batted .193 against him during that span as well. It's safe to say he has loved his time in Atlanta so far.

After the rough outing to start his June, his ERA now sits at 3.06 with 23 earned runs, 10 walks, and 82 strikeouts over 67.2 innings.

Every pitcher has a rough start during the season and unfortunately, Sale was due for a rough start. The Braves offense did their best to bail him out but couldn't seal the deal. Chris was candid after the game and placed all of the blame on himself.

That's one of the most refreshing things about Chris Sale coming to Atlanta, the transparency and tenacity he brings. He doesn't make excuses and carries a noticeable confidence once he steps between the lines.

Hopefully, this was a one-off for Sale and he can get back to the level of performance fans got used to during May. He has been a bright spot during a rough season so far.

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