After an entire summer of wondering what Chris Sale will be like once he returns, the question has finally been answered. Chris Sale is good. After three starts so far, Sale has an ERA of 2.35 with 21 strikeouts. Not bad for someone still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
A Promising Return
Since the Red Sox began their long slump after the All-Star break, many fans considered Sales eventual return to be Boston’s saving grace. Sale is just one player that only plays 5 days though. But, the energy Sale brings to Boston’s clubhouse is unmatched. Combine that with his stellar pitching and Boston has another leading player.
Sale immediately got right back to work in mid-August. Taking on the lowly Orioles, Sale did not hold back. He struckout 8 batters in 5 innings on the way to a win. Now it may just have been Baltimore, but any performance like that from a pitcher coming off Tommy John is quite impressive.
🚨 Chris Sale immaculate inning 🚨 pic.twitter.com/nXPmtASVzg
— MLB (@MLB) August 27, 2021
More Immaculate Performances
Sale’s next outing was against the Texas Rangers. And like the Orioles, he also did not hold back. This time, Sale only striking out five batters in five innings. But Sale still managed to start what would be an eventual shutout. Not exactly a very common sight.
His most impressive outing came in Sale’s most recent start. This time facing Minnesota, Sale also pitched five innings with eight strikeouts. The most impressive part about this game though came in the third inning when Sale threw an immaculate inning. Nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs and it was just absolutely filthy.
How Does The Future Look?
Alex Cora has clearly been very careful when using Chris Sale so far. In each of his outings, Sale could have pitched more innings. However, he has gotten some good run support from Boston’s offense. As a pitcher coming back from surgery, there is no reason to overwork Sale.
Despite only working 15 innings total so far, Sale has been amazing. Whenever Cora feels comfortable with letting Sale pitch further into games, Sale will probably feast on opposing batters. His last start against Minnesota also showed that Sale absolutely has not lost it. His slider was perfect and his fastball was sharp.
Chris Sale is 100% still the same Chris Sale that helped lead Boston to a World Series in 2018. There are always questions about pitchers when returning from Tommy John, but Sale is squashing those right now. As the Red Sox fight for a postseason spot, Sale already being on top of his game is an amazing plus.
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