Red Sox: 5 takeaways from ALDS Game 1 against Astros

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Sale /
4 of 6
Red Sox
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 29: Chris Sale (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Sale’s disastrous debut:

Now we come to Chris Sale, the Red Sox’ ace. After saying he’d been waiting 23 years for this moment, Sale came out and showed us that he was anything but an ace, promptly going 6+ innings and getting rocked for 7 runs on 9 hits, 3 of which were solo home runs to Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve (2).

More from Red Sox News

His second half slump aside, both the Red Sox and their fans were counting on and expecting Sale to come into this game and deliver. He failed the test on all accounts. After giving up back-to-back solo bombs to Bregman and Altuve in the first, Sale seemed to settle down until the 4th, where he was tagged for two more runs on a Marwin Gonzalez double.

The trouble for Sale today was found in his fastball and slider. On more than one occasion, when trying to bury a 0-2 slider, Sale let it catch too much of the plate and often times it cost him extra bases (i.e. Bregman’s HR, Gattis’ double). For his fastball, any and all location was giving him fits throughout. On both homers to Altuve, Sale was caught leaving the fastball up in the middle of the zone, allowing Altuve to drive the pitch to deep left center each time.

While he gave up 5 runs in 5 lackluster innings, I blame the final two runs he was charged with solely on Farell. Which brings us to….