Not much of a surprise here. For the first time in his Red Sox career, Chris Sale will be starting on Opening Day at the Trop against the Rays. With nine days to go until the season starts, I would expect the lefty to make one more exhibition start before preparing for the regular season. He pitched yesterday, so I am going to guess he will pitch again this Saturday against the Houston Astros for the last time this spring.
Sale surpassed 300 strikeouts for the first time in his career in 2017 while finishing second in American League Cy Young voting behind Corey Kluber. With new leadership, it is possible that Sale is a little more reserved with his arsenal to start this new season, compared to how he came out guns blazing last year. If he can extend himself later into the season and the postseason, this change could be very beneficial for both Sale and the team. The Red Sox open the season at 4 PM on Thursday, March 29th, on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays.
In his second start of the spring, Red Sox ace Chris Sale was even better than he was in his 2018 debut last Friday. He gave up a run to the Marlins in that start, but he didn’t give anything up to the Minnesota Twins today. Once again, I can’t find any video since the game was not televised, but the lefty did raise his strikeout total up to 12 by striking out seven Twins in only five innings pitched. In those five innings, Sale faced 17 batters and only allowed two to reach base via a single in the first and a triple in the second. Expect the 28-year-old hurler to make his next start against the Phillies next Monday. Maybe we’ll see more pitches from him. David Price gets the start against the Blue Jays tomorrow.
I will put any video here when it is released.
I’ve been digging for some video from today’s game against the Marlins, but I can’t find any. Regardless, I would say Chris Sale put together a solid start in his 2018 debut, not including that controlled game he threw in last week.
Four full innings pitched to go along with five strikeouts. The only real mistake Sale made today came in the fourth, when he surrendered a leadoff double to Derek Dietrich. A batter later, Marlins first baseman Justin Bour drove Dietrich in on a sacrifice fly to left field. The last batter of the inning, Tomas Telis, lined out and that concluded Sale’s day. From what I have read, Sale’s fastball consistently sat at anywhere between 95 and 97 MPH. He threw 58 pitches in those four innings, and about 71% of those went for strikes. Expect that pitch count to increase to around 75 in his next start, which I predict to be on March 14th against the Twins. If I find any video, I’ll make sure to update this.
UPDATE: Here’s that video.