Chris Sale made the opposition Thursday night look downright foolish. Even arguably the best player in the big leagues.

The Los Angeles Angels were no match for Sale in the Boston Red Sox’s series-opening win at Fenway Park. The veteran left-hander tossed eight overpowering shutout innings in which he struck out 13 and only allowed two hits.

Two-time American League MVP Mike Trout accounted for one of the Angels’ pair of hits but otherwise struggled mightly against Sale, who punched out the star center fielder on three occasions. After the game, Trout explain why Sale can be such a tough matchup for hitters.

“The angle (is tough), and I think it was 95 or something,” Trout told The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “That’s why he’s an ace. He’s got good stuff. He mixes up his fastball speeds and keeps you off-balance, and once he gets to two strikes, he can pump one up to 98. Just a tough at-bat. You can’t miss your pitch on him.”

Sale hasn’t been his usual self for the bulk of the 2019 campaign, and the Red Sox have been sorely affected by his down season. But not all hope is lost for Boston as the home stretch nears, and a revamped Sale could help make the Red Sox at least a viable contender in the fight for wild-card spots.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images