Chris Sale made a solid first impression when debuting with the Atlanta Braves during Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, garnering plenty of credit from his new teammates.

However, before Sale even took the mound and made his 2024 regular-season debut, Adam Duvall expressed his faith in the 13-year veteran. Sale and Duvall spent last season as teammates with the Boston Red Sox, getting to know each other before eventually reuniting in Atlanta during the offseason.

“You know (when) he’s up there, he’s fighting and he’s not giving in, and that’s a mentality that is good for the team, too, when we run out there,” Duvall explained, per Bally Sports. “Playing behind him last year was fun.”

Sale’s final campaign in Boston resulted in a rough goodbye from the organization. The 2018 World Series champion and seven-time All-Star made just 56 starts throughout his final four seasons with the Red Sox, hampered by a handful of trips to the injured list before getting a clean slate in Atlanta.

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Getting the nod for a Braves team three years removed from its last World Series victory, Sale pitched 5 1/3 innings Sunday while allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Sale, 35, showed several flashes of his All-Star form, delivering exactly what Atlanta’s front office envisioned when it swapped infielder Vaughn Grissom for the two-time American League strikeout leader.

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“When he’s out there, he means business and he’s going to war,” Duvall continued. “It’s sort of a lost part of the game. It’s a little bit more old school, but it’s really cool. … He’s coming at you with everything he’s got, so you know you’re in for it.”

At the peak of Sale’s career, he was among the most feared MLB pitchers. When he debuted for the Red Sox in 2017, Sale made 32 starts — his most in the last six years — and went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA, striking out a career-best 308 hitters while finishing second in AL Cy Young Award voting.

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“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and it just happened to be we were on the bottom side of it today,” Sale told reporters Sunday, per Bally Sports. “I like to see that fight throughout the game. What more can you ask for?”

Most recently, Sale endured a shoulder injury in June of last season, which limited him to 20 starts (102 2/3 innings) with a 4.30 ERA in 2023.

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