Chris Sale is without a doubt one of the best pitchers in the MLB. If he wasn’t as good as advertised, the Boston Red Sox would not have gone out of their way to trade for the left-handed pitcher back in the 2016-2017 off-season. The Red Sox made out well with Sale, as he has led them both on and off the field. Of course, no pitcher is going to be dominant every start for the duration of his career.
Sale struggled early on in the month of April. It looked like his fastball velocity was a bit down compared to years past. He struggled to get hitters to chase his slider. It just didn’t look like the Chris Sale Red Sox fans were so used to seeing. But things have changed recently and for the better!
May and June have been much better months for the Red Sox Ace. In the last month Sale is 2-2, but he has a 2.12 ERA in that span. When your starting pitcher is giving up 2-3 runs a game, you take that every single time. You start to feel confident every time Sale takes the mound from this point forward, and that the offense will back him up.
Chris Sale And The 10 Strikeout Game
The most important statistic that stands out is the amount of 10 strikeout games Chris Sale has lately. Think of it this way: striking out 10 batters in 6 innings of work has Sale striking out 55% of the hitters he faces in an MLB game. That is pretty scary to think about.
The Run Support Factor
I mean, eight starts of having at least 10 strikeouts or more in any given game? Those are video game numbers! Remember what I mentioned earlier about Sale struggling to get swings and misses on his slider? It looks like he rediscovered the pitch, because you can’t strikeout every hitter in the MLB with just a fastball. Sale dominating and throwing games of 10 strikeouts or more also helps the bullpen rest.
Another thing we have to consider is the run support factor. Sale has really turned it on for the Red Sox, even when the offense has a few off nights. Here’s a fun statistic for everyone to look at:
In the six starts that Pete Abraham breaks down here, Sale throws 41 total innings while giving up nine total runs. In the top half of the statistics shown above, three of those starts resulted in Sale giving up one run. This man has made some big adjustments. They are truly showing as Sale looks to be regaining his Cy Young caliber form. Keep in mind, this was before the Baltimore start. In that Baltimore start, he went six innings while giving up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, and 10 strikeouts.
It is very simple if you are a Red Sox fan. You need for Chris Sale to continue to improve and go back to being the Chris Sale that the rest of the league fears. Bring that Sale back regularly and the Red Sox will be closer to first than we all realize. For any fan that said Chris Sale wasn’t worth the money in April, I hope you were paying close attention in May and so for in June.
After it is all said and done, there is one conclusion we can all come to: Chris Sale is officially BACK! Let the tour to a repeat continue.