Being runner-up for the Cy Young Award is like being the second man to step on the moon or the second-place finisher in the Miss America Contest – you are either forgettable or a historical footnote. Chris Sale finished second for the Cy Young Award that he seemingly had locked up until his late-season fade.
Was the fade a shock? Sale closed out August and September with a 4-4 record and 4.09 ERA which is a rather attractive number unless you are a pitcher of the caliber of Sale. For his career Sale is now 25-29 and 3.56 ERA for the final two months. Is it wear and tear? That seems a valid assumption for the exclamation point thin Sale.
Redemption for Sale is just a playoff game away and just how did that work out? If you were a Houston hitter nothing seemed more delectable than to have Sale tossing at you. Sale’s first foray into the postseason was a start that saw Sale give up three taters and seven earned runs in five innings. But there is always another chance and that came in game four of the ALCS.
Sale came in to relieve Rick Porcello and almost shut the door on the Astros until Alex Bregman tied it up. After Sale departed ace reliever Craig Kimbrel let it totally get away and Sale has postseason loss number two.
Maybe 2018 will see a more Sale like August and September, but don’t bet the farm on it.