Chris Sale started the season giving up as many home runs (3) as he did innings pitched. Not very auspicious. Outing two wasn't any better. and after his third start in Tampa seven days ago people were starting to wonder aloud. If he had anything left. His ERA was a whopping 11.25. I'll pause while you all cringe a tad bit.
Better ? okay. So is Chris Sale. he took the hill yesterday carrying that same number and dropped it to 8.00 by the time he left it by pitching the best game he’s had in 3 years. Sale was on fire. “ Vintage Chris Sale “ Tom Carron said on NESN after the game. In six innings pitched Sale gave up one run on three hits. He walked just two batters and struck out eleven. It was electric. I didn't even notice the pitch clock. That's how good Chris Sale was.
He didn't take home the W though. Some will say he didn't “Factor into the win” while true i find that factoid misleading. Sale was every bit a factor in this W. You could see it on his teammates' faces in the field and the dugout. and feel it through the vibe the Fenway faithful sent out into the Red Sox universe. Does this mean Sale is back ? I don't know. No one swings and misses like the central division leading Twins.
Even if the sox failed to win last night it would have been a positive for Sale. but they did ( grinning here ) it might have taken ten innings and a bizarre finish to get them back to .500, But who cares ? Trailing 2-1 in the bottom o the eighth Kike Hernandez belted a single and Reese McGuire reached on OH MY GOD another catchers interference. But Kike brilliantly took third when he saw no one covering. Don't you love heads up baseball? He scored the tying run on Jarren Duran fielder's choice.
Heading into extras John Schreiber struggled and let the ghost runner plus one score to make it 4-2. Then the sox bats finally showed in the button of the tenth. With Of all people Kutter Crawford serving as the ghost runner. Kike reached first on a called strike three past ball/ wild pitch and Kutter moved up to third. Triston Casas . He of the O'fer Casas’s worked a walk loading the bases for McGuire who promptly hit a two run single tying the game up at four a piece. Duran hit a single, loading them up with no outs. Rob Refsnyder hit into a crushing double play where Casa was tagged out trying to go home. but with an out still to work with Alex Verdugo left no doubt. Except if his ball was fair or foul. Verdugo took a 2-2 changeup right down the right field line that looked fair then foul but ended up fair and Mcguire crossed home with the winning run, 5-4 good guys.
They Say all's well that ends well. Well this one ended well for the Sox , Chris Sale and Red Sox Nation. As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207