With the offense absolutely raking the ball, the Boston Red Sox took a six-game winning streak into Philadelphia on Friday night. Led by a vintage Chris Sale, the Sox extended theirstreak to seven games with a 5-3 victory in the City of Brotherly love.
While the Boston Celtics doing their thing against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-finals, the Red Sox continued to show the rest of Major League Baseball and their fans and critics that they are no joke. More importantly, the Sale everyone was hoping for is starting to show his identity.
Stepping on the mound at Citizens Bank Park, Sale showed his dominance on the mound by striking out 10 batters while allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings pitched.
The lanky lefty did hit some turbulence in the fourth inning, but his ability to battle through is a great sign for the Red Sox ace, who improved his record to 3-2.
Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale stepped up to the challenge vs Phillies
Although the Phillies are under .500, this is a team coming off a World Series appearance with a batting lineup that is tough to face, especially a superstar like Bryce Harper.
In a battle early in the game, Sale faced off against Harper and simply blew him off the plate. Sale threw the heat in striking out Harper, reaching 98.6 mph and showing that strength and command is working its way back into his repertoire with consistency.
When it came to facing a batter like Harper, Sale rose to the occasion and set the tone for his team.
"“This obviously isn’t an easy place to come into,” Sale said following the game, via MLB.com. “They are very passionate about sports. With him, obviously he’s Bryce Harper. He’s kind of a one of one [type of player]. If you ask anybody. You know with the production everything, him coming back [earlier this week], first game back home.“You kind of understand it, but I still have a job to do, too. And that’s to try not to get them more riled up.”"
Now, it wasn’t a complete dominate effort as Sale did have that rocky fourth inning, but his ability to escape and battle through is what impressed Red Sox manager Alex Cora on the performance. Calling him “fresh”, Cora applauded Sale’s dominance and his compete level in that one inning that fueled him into hurling two more scoreless innings.
Want your voice heard? Join the Chowder And Champions team!
A great sign overall for the Boston Red Sox starting rotation and even more of a boost for a team showing they are a team to be taken series as they continue to climb the AL East standings after an impressive four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the offense and bullpen doing their part to secure the victory on Friday night, a Boston Red Sox team with a lot of “what ifs” entering the season is showing just how fun they can be when those “what ifs” play out.
There have been a couple of surprises like the rise of Jarren Duran and Connor Wong, but there has to be more excitement over players like Alex Verdugo and a pitcher like Sale having their moment of rejuvenation.