It’s hard to imagine a pitcher out-pitching Chris Sale. It certainly doesn’t happen often. And on a night when he threw a 100.3 mph fastball (breaking his previous velocity record of 99.9 mph) and struck out 10 batters over 8 innings, it seems unfathomable.
But the Red Sox are nothing if not maddeningly predictable in their ability to ruin someone’s night. They certainly ruined mine.
Sale faced off against 26-year-old Dylan Covey, who didn’t last as long, pitching into the 7th. But Covey struck out seven and only gave up three hits and a walk.
Sale only gave up one run and six hits, but he received absolutely no help from his offense, who were as quiet as the dead without Mookie and JD. Once Chicago got the sole run of the night on the board, they seemed to deflate.
It’s seriously worrisome that they don’t appear to fight back in run-deficit games. We’ve already seen it a lot this season, and it doesn’t bode well for the inevitable postseason run. One thing – and I really mean one of the only things – the 2017 Red Sox had going for them was how many come-from-behind wins they had. They wouldn’t score all night, but suddenly, in later innings or extra-innings, they would wake the hell up. This year, it feels like the lineup accepts defeat right away.
Sale, meanwhile, has taken L’s in his last 3 starts. He’s now 5-4, a record that doesn’t do his dominance justice. More often than not, it hasn’t been his fault. It certainly wasn’t tonight.
I’m reminded of a statement Pedro Martinez gave to the press after pitching Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS (a loss, in case you didn’t know):
“All I can do is go out there and pitch. I can’t do nothing if they don’t score runs.”
Photo: Over The Monster