We all wanted to enjoy Chris Sales' Birthday , We didn't . No amount of cake and ice cream could have helped Red Sox Nation leave Fenway with a smile on their face. Not after a ten run, nine walk five stolen base performance by the Boston pitching staff. The one good thing Red Sox Nation had in their back pocket as they headed back to the gates. Chris Sale day was Saturday. if you've forgotten why, ( here's the answer .) But lets digress shall we.
For the first time since July 17th Sale will take the hill in a meaningful game. He managed just .02 of an inning on that day vs the Yankees before Aaron Hicks sent a line drive back at him breaking his finger and setting off the events that ended his last comeback season. Lets all knock wood that Sale gets through the Season ? First Half ? Today ? His warm up ? These are the thoughts that run through my mind as we all wait for 4PM today. When he takes on the Orioles at Fenway.
In the last two seasons Chris Sale has pitched just over 48 innings. If the Sox are to contend for even a wildcard spot he is going to have to go the distance in 2023. Something Sale hasn't done since 2019. That's a long time in baseball years. But there are signs of hope. Sale had a very good spring. In his fifteen inning tune up he struck out 12 and only walked 4 batters. As we all saw on opening day, in 2023 walks kill more than ever. Sales WHIP this spring was 1.333 that is still a good thing in this new fangled MLB. he did give up 8 runs in those 15 innings but that's besides the point. He went out there and threw effortlessly. He came off the mound sound in each of his four outings. And is chomping at the bit to reprove himself as one of the finest pitchers in the game. A lot has been made of Sales younger than his age arm.. Three years off means three years younger according to some. Sure, let's go with that.
The last year Sale and his arm were the same age, let's call it 2018. in 2019 his arm was older than he was. In 2018 Sale made 27 starts, went 12-4 , struck out 237 batters in 158 innings pitched. Was an all star and 4th in Cy Young voting. Sale had an ERA of 2.11 that season.And the Sox won the world Series. While I'm pretty confident he won't see 2.11 in this year's ERA column. I do think he can get to the rest of those 2018 numbers. In fact I predicted him to make 28 starts and win 13 this season, with an ERA just north of three 3.30 . a bit of romantic thinking on my part? Yea but like Brad Pitt Said in Moneyball “ How can you not be romantic about baseball. “ I sure as hell can't. Lets see if Sale can get off on the good foot and get the sox their first W of the season.
As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter at @TMurph207