Chris Sale is already proving to be one of the best acquisitions of the past MLB offseason. He has been the ace of the Boston Red Sox and one of the best starting pitchers in baseball since the season began two and a half weeks ago. On Thursday, he continued validating his massive trade from the Chicago White Sox, propelling his team to yet another victory in the absence of their other assumed ace.

Another dominant start

The sale was dominant once again on Thursday when his team faced the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada. He threw 102 pitches, with almost 80% of them going for strikes.

He allowed just four hits on the day, none of which went for extra bases. Additionally, he struck out 13 batters while walking just one. Overall, he pitched eight innings, giving up no runs and earned a no-decision for the Red Sox.

Wait - shouldn't pitchers who destroy their opponent pick up the win? The Red Sox couldn't provide a single run in support during the first eight innings, shut down themselves by a dominant effort from Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays bullpen. They managed to scratch across a run in the ninth inning once Sale was out of the game, but so did Toronto, sending the game into extra innings. Bases loaded double by Mookie Betts in the tenth inning gave the Red Sox the win, setting them up for a 10-6 record on the year while the Blue Jays languish as the worst team in baseball.

Star acquisition

The Red Sox gave up the farm - quite literally, the best players in their farm system - to acquire Sale from the Chicago White Sox this winter. He was expected to pair alongside David Price and Rick Porcello to form a three-headed monster at the front of the team's pitching rotation. That hasn't worked out so well yet, as Price has been dealing with injuries that have already derailed his 2017 campaign.

Sale has held up his end of the bargain, though.

So far this season, Sale has 42 strikeouts in 29.2 innings, sporting an ERA of 0.91. His strikeout total is ten more than the next closest pitcher in the majors this season, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. He only has a 1-1 record to show for it, as his team has struggled to provide him with run support all season, as much of a cause for concern as the flu that ran rampant through the clubhouse at the beginning of the year. If the Red Sox offense can live up to the standard their new ace has brought to the team, they will be serious World Series contenders.