The stat line might not look impressive, but what Chris Sale did Sunday at Fenway Park was nothing to scoff at.
Sale took the hill on a frigid day in Boston, with temperatures dipping below 20 degrees for much of the afternoon. The left-hander’s normal velocity wasn’t there, as the cold zapped him of his normal pop. Sale gutted out five innings, however, giving up only one run on two hits while striking out eight and walking two. He registered only nine swings-and-misses, his third-fewest of his Red Sox tenure.
Boston’s ace didn’t factor in the decision, but he kept the Red Sox in the game, and the offense eventually broke through to claim a 3-1 win.
While it’s always good to get the win, Sale won’t exactly be filing Sunday’s outing away as a reason he loves playing baseball.
“Tonight was the worst,” Sale said as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage.”I said it when I came out of the game, ‘This is the most miserable I’ve ever been on a baseball field by far.’ Not even close. Not even close.”
So miserable, in fact, Sale couldn’t even give his outing a grade.
“I couldn’t feel anything so I couldn’t even tell you,” Sale said when asked how he felt during the outing. “I mean, I felt fine, it’s just, it’s tough on a game like tonight, or a day like today excuse me. But everyone has to deal with it, I’m not the only one out there playing. My guys are out there, their guys are out there.”
The art of pitching wasn’t exactly on display Sunday, as Sale noted after the game that he just wanted to get the ball over the plate and get in the dugout.
“My last changeup was in the first inning,” Sale said. “As unimpressive as it might have been, like I said I’m just trying to throw strikes. I didn’t care how hard it was coming or what pitch it was, I wanted to get it over the plate because I knew how hard it was to hit today.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox-Orioles:
— Boston will head to the West Coast on Tuesday for a series with the Los Angels Angels. The Red Sox originally were not scheduled to face Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani, but due to Sunday’s Angels-Royals game being postponed, the rookie will make his next start Tuesday against the Sox.
— The Red Sox improved to 13-2, their best 15-game start in franchise history.
— Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, and Cora noted he would not be in the position he is without the baseball pioneer.
“No way I am a big league manager without Jackie Robinson,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s pregame coverage. “No way I am a big league manager without Hiram Bithorn. He’s the first Puerto Rican player in the big leagues. There’s a platform that everybody knows, he’s a big one. We know the history of the franchise and what it means to have a minority manager, in the big leagues, too. I hope there’s a platform that people can look at. Kids back home or everywhere else, that, yeah a kid from Caguas, Puerto Rico, growing up he loved playing baseball and all of a sudden he’s a manager of one of the best franchises in the world. It’s amazing. ”
— The Red Sox honored One Boston Day as well Sunday, which takes place on the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The team held a moment of silence during the seventh-inning stretch to honor the victims of the tragic attack.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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