Chris Sale gets rocked in postseason debut; Astros take 1-0 lead

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: Chris Sale
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: Chris Sale /

Boston Red Sox Ace and 2017 American League Cy Young contender, Chris Sale, got rocked by the Astros offense through 5.0 innings in his postseason debut.

We all knew it would be a rough series considering the Boston Red Sox are facing baseball’s leading team in runs scored, hits, doubles, RBIs, and batting average.

However it was a rough and unusual sight in Game 1 of the American League Division Series for the Red Sox all around the diamond.

Eduardo Nunez

Just 5 minutes into the game DH, Eduardo Nunez went down as he ran out a grounder to third base. Nunez was placed in the lineup for Hanley Ramirez due to his more successful history against Astros starter, Justin Verlander.

However in his first plate appearance of the playoffs, Nunez re aggravated his right knee and was carried off the field as a result.

As for Ramirez, he would go 2/2 in his first 2 plate appearance against Verlander, hitting a double and single.

Dustin Pedroia

You typically wouldn’t expect your 12-year team veteran to make rookie mistakes in the most crucial of times, especially when that veteran is Dustin Pedroia.

Despite 48 postseason appearances within his career, Pedroia made a pair of noteworthy and very questionable decisions to say the least in Game 1.

In the 2nd inning Red Sox catcher, Sandy Leon singled to right field which plated Moreland. However the Red Sox were on the verge of losing that run as Pedroia was thrown out at third base to end the inning.

A challenge by Red Sox manager John Farrell would confirm that Moreland was indeed safe.

Then in the 4th inning, Boston kicked off the inning with runners on the corners and nobody out. Pedroia stood in for his second at bat, taking a questionable hack in a 2-0 count on a pitch high and out of the strike zone. That swing would lead to a foul ground pop out to the catcher.

It was an overall unusual night for the unnamed team captain and leader, Dustin Pedroia. However he was far from alone in team struggles for Game 1.

Chris Sale

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 05: Chris Sale
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 05: Chris Sale /

It was the postseason debut for Boston Red Sox Ace and contender for the Cy Young Award, Chris Sale.

In an interview just 24 hours before taking the mound in the playoffs for the first time in his career, Sale stated “three days’ rest, I’m in. I’ll throw until my arm falls off”.

However it would be the Houston Astros 9 hits and 3 home runs that would lead to Sale’s departure from the game after just 5.0 innings on the mound.

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The total 7 earned runs charged to Sale puts his postseason ERA at 12.60.

Chris Sale came into Thursday evening’s Game 1 with relatively strong success in his career against the Astros, posting a 1.31 ERA with a 5-1 record in 6 career starts versus Houston.

After the game, Sale took full responsibility for Boston’s ugly 6-run loss to kickoff their postseason run, stating “this one’s on me”, followed by “it’s a bad time to suck”.

Boston Red Sox Down

Well as for the Red Sox, they find themselves down 1 game in a best of 5 series to perhaps baseball’s best offensive team today.

They will send Drew Pomeranz for Game 2 tomorrow against former Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Kuchuel.

Next: Boston Red Sox: Predicting the entire 2017 MLB Postseason

Pomeranz is another Red Sox pitcher who is not too familiar with the postseason, making his first 2 career playoff appearances in last seasons sweep to the Cleveland Indians.

He will look to even this series up in a crucial game took keep Boston’s season alive.