They've been on display on an almost nightly basis since the start of the season. After all, when you don't have a closer....
Photo courtesy of USA Today
Wednesday night, Chris Sale got in on the fun, allowing three home runs in 5.2 innings in a 6-3 Red Sox loss to the Blue Jays. It continues a bad string of recent starts for the Boston lefty starter.
As MASSLIVE's Christopher Smith pointed out in a post-game tweet, in his last three starts Sale has a 7.02 ERA giving up 13 runs in 16.2 innings.
It's not the velocity - Sale was consistently in the mid-90's Wednesday night. More likely than not, it's location. Sale pointed out after the game that he left too many pitches out over the plate, and in fact all three home runs he served up last night were on pitches that were supposed to be inside but caught WAY too much of the middle of the plate.
Just as much a cause of concern is Sale's performance against Toronto this year. In his three starts against the Blue Jays, Sale has allowed 13 earned runs on 23 hits and nine walks in 14.2 innings. That translates to a 7.98 earned run average against Toronto in 2019.
Though he won't say it, Sale appears to be more comfortable throwing to Sandy Leon. Christian Vazquez was behind the plate last night, the result of his recent hot streak with the bat.
Sale's record is now 3-8 with a 4.04 ERA. If the second half of the season is going to have any kind of meaning for the Red Sox, Chris Sale has to get his issues figured out.
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