Chris Sale presented cause for concern the last time he took the mound.
Sale surrendered five earned runs on four hits with one walk over just one inning of work against the Rays at Tropicana Field last Friday. It proved to be the only appearance the southpaw made in the Boston-Tampa Bay American League Division Series, which the Red Sox won in four games.
Boston will need all hands on deck, Sale included, if it wants to win the AL pennant and advance to the World Series. And if reports from a recent bullpen session are any indication, Sale should be able to be a factor in the Red Sox’s best-of-seven series against the Houston Astros.
“He feels good about where he’s at,” manager Alex Cora told reporters Wednesday, per MLB.com. “I had a conversation with somebody today, and it was music to my ears because they said something about, ‘He found it in the bullpen.’ The last time I heard somebody found it in the bullpen was David Price in (October) ’18, and he took off.
“Hopefully, he found something in the bullpen, but I think we recognized a few things that are going to get him to the point that he’s more balanced and he’s more direct to the plate, he’s over the rubber — and if he does that, he’ll be fine.”
Sale only made one appearance in the 2018 AL Championship Series between the Sox and the Astros. He was tabbed with a no-decision after giving up two runs on one hit with four walks over four innings in Boston’s Game 1 loss at Fenway Park.
Nathan Eovaldi all but surely will get the ball for the Red Sox on Friday when this year’s ALCS kicks off at Minute Maid Park. But one has to imagine Sale will very much be in consideration to be Boston’s starter for Saturday’s Game 2.