Chris Sale offered a memorable performance Thursday, but for all the wrong reasons.
The Boston Red Sox ace gave up a whopping seven earned runs against the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, as the Sox went on to lose 8-2 at Minute Maid Park. Furthermore, the left-hander gave up three home runs to the Astros, continuing an alarming trend that plagued him down the stretch.
Sale’s outing was bad no matter how you slice it, but how his performance stacks up against others like it is rather alarming, to say the least.
The 27-year-old became the third Red Sox pitcher to give up three homers in Game 1 of a playoff series. He joined Rick Porcello, who surrendered three bombs to the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS, and Matt Clement, who was taken deep three times by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
It gets worse, though.
Before Thursday’s shellacking, Roger Clemens was the only Red Sox player to give up seven earned runs in their postseason debut.
To Sale’s credit, he didn’t make excuses after the game.
If you’ve followed Sale throughout his career, you know those comments are characteristic of his no-nonsense personality.
Still, the time for talking is over, as the Sox must put Thursday behind them and focus on picking up their first playoff victory since 2013 Friday.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Astros.
— Prior to Game 1, those in attendance at Minute Maid Park held a moment of silence for the victims of Sunday night’s attack in Las Vegas.
— The Red Sox on Thursday announced that right-hander Doug Fister will start Game 3 of the ALDS at Fenway Park.
— Mookie Betts’ double against Verlander in the fourth inning was first hit in 17 at-bats against the right-hander. Here’s how rare Verlander’s success against Betts is:
— Rick Porcello, who won’t start Game 3, game out of the bullpen in Game 1, and could be available Friday as well.
— Rafael Devers’ RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth inning was remarkable, when you consider this:
— But this, perhaps, is the craziest stat to come out of Game 1:
— Dustin Pedroia has started in all 48 Red Sox playoff games dating back to 2007.
Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images
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