Chri Sale feels 100% and ready to go. Red Sox manager Ale Cora has been cautious with him for the last month getting him ready for the postseason.
Starting pitching is key to winning games in the postseason. You really need to have great starting pitching when the bullpen hasn’t lived to expectations. Chris Sale was brought to the Boston Red Sox to be able to pitch dominantly in the postseason.
Granted he’s never won a postseason game and usually doesn’t pitch well in September. However, manager Alex Cora took a different approach this year. He wanted to be delicate with the lefty so he wouldn’t wear his arm out. By giving him two stints on the disabled list for shoulder inflammation and bringing him back slowly it’s a step in the right direction. Proving that Sale will be fine by the time the playoffs start.
Sale is getting a few starts in before the start of the postseason in October. It’s unknown if Sale will pitch Game One or Two of the ALDS but either way he’ll be ready to go. Questions lingered after the lefty threw only 26 pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays last week. He would then leave the game after the first inning and finish his forty pitches in the bullpen.
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The ace made his second appearance since coming off the disabled list on Sunday, throwing three scoreless innings while only giving up one hit and recording one strikeout. Altogether, Sale recorded two strikeouts and only gave up two hits in his last two starts.
However, the Blue Blue Jays and the New York Mets aren’t very good teams. The real test for Sale will be on Friday when he pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the first game of that three-game series.
Sale’s stats against potential playoff teams have been average. Against the Oakland Athletics, he’s 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA. The ace is 2-0 with a great 0.69 ERA against the New York Yankees but he’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA versus the Houston Astros. He hasn’t started a game against Cleveland yet.
The Red Sox need Chris Sale 100% going into the postseason which is why they’ve been cautious with him.
"“I feel 100 percent, I wouldn’t be going out there if I wasn’t,” Sale told reporters after Sunday’s start, per Masslive’s Christopher Smith. “Like I said, this is just part of the process of building up. It’s not still injured or still hurting at all. Can’t sit out three weeks and go pitch nine innings. By my first postseason start, we’ll be at 100 pitches, which is where you want to be.”"
People were nervous when Sale went on the disabled list in August for the second time after his great start against the Orioles. It was then that Cora was really getting him ready for October. Cora played this perfectly which is something John Farrell would’ve failed to do. The ace will pitch Friday in Cleveland, then, in my opinion, skip his start against the terrible Orioles and pitch Friday, September 28 during the last weekend of the regular season against the Yankees.
We’ve seen the potential Cy Young winner really have a fantastic season so far. His 1.96 ERA this season is the lowest in the American League. With the bullpen not up to par, it will be up to that starting rotation to be perfect in the postseason.