With Chris Sale missing about a month’s worth of time for the Boston Red Sox, fans are starting to worry. His recent disabled-list stints have Red Sox fans pondering the depths of his condition, now approaching October.
Sale made a return to the Red Sox rotation on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. In his return, Sale, whose limited role, defined as ‘the opener’, only pitched one inning. The Boston ace struck out two Toronto batters while allowing one hit and hitting a batter. He looked like himself, which is a good sign for the Red Sox faithful. His inning was a rather long one, and with just two weeks left of the regular season, it’s understandable that he’s being taken care of with great caution.
However, it’s a scary time for the best team in baseball.
The Cy Young award candidate was placed on the disabled list on July 31st and re-activated on August 12th, which lasted less than a week. Sale was then moved back to the DL on August 18th. Both stints on the list had many people wondering what was the real problem and was it a long-term one. His reinstatement, of late, is a substantial one, whatever his current condition. For the post-season plans, which he’ll be a main focal point too, he will need to get his reps in now. It will be important over the last month of the season for Boston to manage his game time and rest time correctly.
Sale’s October Importance
The Red Sox superstar is renowned all around the league for being one of the most dominant pitchers. Over his two seasons in Boston, Sale has proved this. His status as one of the best pitchers in the majors will lead to a larger amount of productivity expected from him. The Red Sox faithful will expect a lot of effort from their team in October, something which a hundred-win team should, hopefully, provide.
Sale will need to play a huge role for the Sox this year, come the playoffs. Last year saw him and the whole Red Sox team suffer at the hands of the Houston Astros in the Divisional Series after claiming the AL East title. 2017 saw another good Red Sox season not quite reach its heights in the post-season. And 2018 has seen a very good Red Sox season, which has a chance to develop into something special. A staff of Sale, along with the talented David Price and another Red Sox pitcher who is having a great season in Rick Porcello, Boston has a great playoff rotation going. As long as the run support comes, which should do with the likes of Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, this rotation will win games in October.
The importance of Sale would be vital to any team he was on. Being in the league-leading team, and some would say, World Series favorites, comes pressure. But, if he is healthy and rested and ready to go, Sale will dominate.
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