Mistakes don’t sit well with Chris Sale.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher was pulled much sooner than he would have liked Sunday in a crucial season finale where he threw just 2 1/3 innings. His team pulled out a win against the Washington Nationals to clinch a Wild Card spot without him, and now face an elimination game Tuesday against the New York Yankees.
With the season on the line, the Red Sox are likely to stay away from him. But with Sale having some gas in the tank still, it’s a conversation the team is still having. Especially because he keeps politicking for the ball.
“We still talk about Chris; most likely, no,” Cora said of Sale’s chances to see the mound Tuesday.
After giving up two runs on four hits and three walks, his seven strikeouts in a short outing weren’t enough to convince Cora to let him work through it against the Nationals.
“The changeup,” Cora started. “The changeup is not where it usually is. It happened in Baltimore with Mountcastle. It happened yesterday with Bell and Mercer. I remember we were talking about his first bullpen here and I was just telling him that we were so excited about the changeup, because supposedly when you come out of all this process, whatever, that’s the last pitch you get because of how you have to manipulate the pitch.”
Even so, Cora said Sale stopped by his manager’s office to persuade him to let him pitch against the Yankees.
“He’s not there yet,” Cora said. “You can see it. The action is okay, but it’s actually cutting. So he actually threw today. He felt good. He stopped by the office, and like, no, we’re not doing that. But it’s the changeup. The slider is good. The fastball is good. But that’s a pitch that the feel is not there yet, so he’ll keep working on it and hopefully he has a chance to start again here in October. He’ll make some adjustments and give us a chance to win.”
If he does get that chance, will it be on short rest or will the Red Sox wait a full five days?
“We’ll talk about it,” Cora said. “Hopefully we can have that conversation.”