Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has yet to pitch in a major league playoff game. Yes— that’s seven seasons in the MLB without one playoff appearance. This year is about to change that. As the AL East first place Sox inch closer to the post season, Sale’s performance on the mound will be crucial to the team’s success.
Back when he was with the White Sox, Sale spoke to the media in regards to the playoffs. “Nobody cares what you do in the regular season.” Sale said. “You get into the playoffs and nobody hears about the teams that didn’t go to the playoffs. Nobody really cares about who came in second place. So, we have to go. We have to win.’’
Sale has carried this mentality into his season with the Red Sox. Boston is currently 3 1/2 wins ahead of the New York Yankees in the race to take the AL East, putting the team into a prime position to compete in the post season. Though Sale recently had a string of subpar performances against the Indians and the Yankees, this past weekend’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays was undoubtably a step in the right direction.
Sale helped the team to a 9-0 win in Saturday’s match up and managed to end the game throwing only 97 pitches. It is incredibly important for Sale to rest at any chance he can get, considering how the regular season is nearing its close.
“If you can save 20 extra pitches, especially at the very end of the game, we’re kind of looking ahead, too,” Sale said. “It’s part of staying on top of things and doing what we can when we can.”
The next time Sale is scheduled to take the mound is Thursday against the Oakland A’s. Though Sale was not particularly challenged in this past weekend’s series, Red Sox Nation is hopeful that his performance is indicative of what can be expected of the pitcher come October, as it is imperative that Sale is executing to the best of his abilities against the top tier teams.