Red Sox: Chris Sale dominates Baltimore in his long awaited return

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 14: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on August 14, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 14: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on August 14, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Chris Sale dominates Baltimore in his Red Sox return

I’m honestly at a loss for words but I’m going to give this my best shot. What we just saw from Chris Sale in not just his Red Sox return but his return to Major League Baseball was electric. From the second he walked to the bullpen to begin his warmup regimen to the first pitch he threw this afternoon, there was a static surrounding Fenway Park and all of Red Sox Nation the world over. For the first time in over two years, The Boogeyman was going to take the mound.

This is a day we’d all been looking forward to as this season approached and with each passing week and progress report, the anticipation built. Every time we would get even the smallest update on his status, the baseball world would begin to whisper with guesses on his return. Boston’s ace southpaw battled COVID and neck issues on top of recovering from Tommy John Surgery on his way back to Fenway Park.

Today was the cherry on the sundae, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and a deep breath after a two-year journey. Sale not only made his first MLB start in 731 days, but he absolutely dominated the Orioles and made it look easy. The Condor finished his day with a 5.0/6H/2ER/8K line and he got more run support than he ever may have in his career.

The Red Sox lineup was firmly behind Sale in his return as they put up 16 runs against an abysmal Baltimore side. Alex Cora has gone to his bullpen and we can fully focus on what the southpaw did today and enjoy what has felt like something that was within reach but still far away. Many will say that Boston gave him an easy return but the Orioles are technically a big league club and do have players that can put a hurt on.

I think we all had a feeling for what we could see from Sale today as he absolutely lit up the Minor Leagues on his rehab tour. Still, it’s one thing to get the job done in front of a few hundred or thousand in a rehab game, a fully packed and rabid Fenway Park is a whole different story. It’s safe to say that Sale didn’t feel an ounce of the jitters, and if he did, he sure as hell didn’t show it. A few hits here and there, a couple of homers, nothing shook his confidence.

This was a day that this team and fanbase desperately needed. All season long it felt like not just the club but all of Red Sox Nation was waiting for Sale to return as if he was going to be that much-needed life raft while lost at sea. Well, considering how Boston has been playing as of late it pretty much played out exactly like that. The offense has shown signs of life, the starters have been lights out, and now their best pitcher has arrived and reminded everyone of how good he can be.

More from Chris Sale

Boston has a serious chance at the postseason and with a very weak schedule coming up they can make up the ground they lost on Tampa Bay during their skid. Having Sale back in the rotation is a serious boost to this squad and can lift them back to where they were before the All-Star break. A separate addition to the starting rotation is Sale’s clone Tanner Houck, another guy who isn’t afraid to embarrass the opposition with a nasty slider. Those two being added to a strong group of Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta is the definition of sick.

At the end of the day, Christopher Allen Sale is back and the rest of the league will have to stare down The Boogeyman and pray for the best. If today is any inkling into what we can expect from the southpaw, those prayers will go unanswered. He’s a bad bad man and now he’s back on the mound with a club that wants nothing more than to prove everyone wrong. Take his competitiveness and add in a dash of “nobody believes in us,” and the Red Sox are going to be a scary side going down the stretch.

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