Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale got the start in the 2018 All-Star Game, tossing a scoreless frame in his only inning of work.
It turns out that the best the National League has to offer doesn’t fare any better against Chris Sale than other opponents have. The ace of the Boston Red Sox pitched a scoreless first inning in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
This was the third consecutive year that Sale has started for the American League. He’s only the third major league pitcher in history to earn the nod three years in a row. It’s his second time representing the Red Sox, giving him more starts in the All-Star Game than any pitcher in franchise history. He also started for the AL in 2016 as a member of the Chicago White Sox.
Manager Alex Cora can breathe a sigh of relief. Sale made it through his start with a minimal workload, retiring the side with only nine pitches.
Breaking down Sale’s inning
Chicago’s Javier Baez led off the bottom of the first with a base hit up the middle on the first pitch he saw. Maybe a fastball over the plate wasn’t the best option to start with against a guy who swings at everything. Then again, Baez proved in the Home Run Derby that he can put a charge into pitches no matter where they are thrown.
That would be the only damage done against Sale. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado flied out to left on one pitch. Sale sat Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt down swinging. He wrapped up the inning by getting Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman to fly out to center.
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Sale came out firing knowing he was in for a short outing. The pitch he threw to get Freeman out was clocked at 100.7 mph. That’s the fastest velocity Sale has recorded since he was a rookie reliever in 2010.
Aaron Judge put the AL on the board with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. It feels dirty to feel joy when a Yankees player hits a homer but it did put Sale in line for a win.
In his All-Star Game starts over the last three years, Sale has tossed four innings. He’s allowed one run on five hits. He didn’t walk a batter in any of those starts and struck out a total of four. Sale earned the win pitching two scoreless innings of relief in the 2013 All-Star Game.
Sale left with the lead after his one inning of work this year. If the AL can hang on to that lead then the ace of the Red Sox will get credited with another All-Star win.