Friday, March 29, 2019

'No Sale'—Red Sox Ace Goes Missing In Action In Brutal Opening Loss, 12-4

(Getty Images)
You knew this wasn't vintage Chris Sale right in the first inning. Sure, he struck out the side—but it took him over 20 pitches to do that. In the disastrous second inning, he was pushing 55. In his three horrific innings, he threw 76 pitches—none with command or his usual velocity. It has to raise questions about the team's Spring Training philosophy with their starters—with most barely pitching at all in the Grapefruit League. After Boston took a 2-0 lead yesterday, Sale squandered it immediately in the second inning. Said the lefty ace, (whose ERA is now 21.00): "It's 2-0 and I'm going out there in the second inning, and I pretty much deflated us. Three runs, it's a one-run ballgame, anything can happen and I just go out there and stink the place up. That's not what I needed to do." No kidding. Boston's bullpen lived up to its mediocre reputation—coughing up five additional runs in the eventual 12-4 rout. After the first inning outburst, Boston's offense was as limp as a flying salmon at Pike Place Market. The only bright lights were: Mookie Betts (3-5, run scored) and J.D. Martinez (2-5, RBI). This was a stinker of a way to start a title defense, folks. It can only get better—right? Right?