Chris Sale had one of the worst outings of his career in his last start against the New York Yankees.
The southpaw was tagged for eight earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and two home runs in a 9-2 loss.
But the good news is that Alex Cora and the Red Sox believe they have found a mechanical fix that could help Sale’s slider. Sale, of course, was very critical of the umpiring behind the plate in the game and was ejected. Cora also was ejected. But Cora said he liked what he saw in the early innings of the Aug. 3 start before it all fell apart in the fourth inning.
“I feel he was better, his slider was better early in the game. And it was about the slider, and it was plain, you saw it,” Cora said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” on Wednesday. “It’s not that he avoided the fastball, but he got some swings and misses, some takes on the backdoor breaking ball, but after that it snowballed. It’s going to help his slider, his slider shape. Hopefully the next one, he keeps doing it, and we get a better one.”
Sale threw 30 sliders in that start, drawing a swing and miss rate of 26.7 percent, the lowest on that pitch in each of last five starts.
But at this point, the Red Sox are quite desperate to get Sale going again if they hope to make the playoffs, so any adjustments might be worth trying out.