How concerned should the Boston Red Sox be about Chris Sale?
Playoff baseball is right around the corner, ladies and gentlemen. And the Boston Red Sox may or may not have a problem with their ace at the most crucial part of the season.
After pitching only five innings and giving up five earned runs (all by the way of four home runs) last night vs Toronto, Sale continued his up and down pitching as of late.
Talking with media members after the game, Sale knew that he once again didn’t pitch like his usual self and that he “just flat-out got to win games. I’m not doing that.”
Looking at the Numbers
Now if you look at Sale’s game logs the last two months, he is for the most part, not pitching as consistently dominant as he was earlier in the season. Sure, he pitched like regular Chris Sale last week vs the Orioles by throwing eight shutout innings and 13 K’s. However, where was that Chris Sale last night vs the Jays or against Tampa Bay two weeks ago?
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Are we maybe overreacting? It’s certainly possible but still, Red Sox fans expect their ace to pitch like their ace every five days and not lose to the two teams that are tied for last place in the AL East.
Look, Sale has (as of this moment) lived up to his reputation as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Any MLB team would be over the moon having a guy you can count on for 15-20 wins, an ERA under three, and over 300 strikeouts.
On one hand, if I’m John Farrell, I’m telling Sale “Hey, you’re not pitching till the first playoff game. Rest up, refocus, and prepare yourself for October.”
Sure, some may think that come playoff time, you need your star pitcher to pitch on short rest but I would not do that with Sale.
Whether it’s the Wild Card Game or Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series, the Boston Red Sox need Chris Sale to be energized and most importantly, pitch like Chris Sale.