Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale can’t seem to win at Fenway Park this season but he still has plenty of time to turn things around.
Chris Sale failed to earn a win in his 12th straight regular-season start at Fenway Park. In fact, he hasn’t won in the regular season at home since July 11 of last year (he did beat the New York Yankees at home in the ALDS).
Sale missed nearly two months with shoulder inflammation in the second half of last season, which limited his chances to pitch at home the rest of the year. But it’s still alarming that hasn’t won a game in eight starts at home this season.
The reasons could be from his performance to lack of run support and the bullpen blowing games. It’s probably all the above but regardless, your ace pitcher shouldn’t be winless at home. That’s ridiculous and not a good look to start the second half.
Sale has improved since the beginning of the season. He was 0-5 to begin the season but 2-0 in the month of June. His ERA went down too from 6.30 to 2.73. It’s good but his ERA at Fenway Park is 4.27, which is the second-highest in all the ballparks he’s pitched in so far. The highest is at Yankee Stadium where his ERA is a 6.55.
If the Sox want to contend for the postseason, Sale’s ERA needs to be lower at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. In 46 innings pitched at Fenway, he’s given up 39 hits, 14 walks, and a WHIP of 1.14.
The run support is also an issue. Sale ranks 32nd out of 40 qualified American League starters with 3.94 runs of support per game. The Red Sox should be winning the close games when Sale pitches but his offense has often let him down.
For Sale to win at Fenway, it’s obvious he needs to pitch better, the run support needs to be there, and the bullpen can’t blow the game.
After Wednesday’s game, Sale wasn’t too sure why he was winless at Fenway and why he can’t pitch well at home. Chris Cotillo of Masslive had this quote from Sale.
"“For some reason, I suck here, I don’t know what it is. Maybe, for me, I’ve only had one good game here. I don’t know what it is,” said Sale."
Sale’s ERA away from Fenway is 3.44 with a 3-5 record. It’s very interesting that his ERA is lower away from Fenway than it is at home. It should be lower at Fenway too.
According to baseball reference, in the first inning of games, Sale’s ERA is a 4.24 giving up 11 hits, and eight runs. His worst inning so far this season is the third. He’s got a 9.00 ERA with 20 hits and 18 runs. His best inning so far this season is the fifth inning with a 1.20 ERA, 12 hits and only two runs. If he can have more innings like the fifth he’d start winning games at home.
He has time to turn things around though. If he can start off on the right foot and do that consistently he and the team will be better off in the long run. He can’t have a 9.00 ERA in the third inning of games and expect to win every time. If he’s consistent with starting off good to begin games they’ll be better off. They can’t be playing from behind every time Sale takes the mound.