Yesterday, I talked about how Mike Trout should go to a team that deserves his remarkable prowess. Today, the topic is the same, but the subject is Chris Sale, who endured another loss last night that was almost completely someone else’s fault.
The Red Sox have now gone 8-8 in games Sale starts, the worst record for one of their starting pitchers. They’re 13-1 for Eduardo Rodriguez. Welcome to the Upside Down.
But almost none of those L’s are Sale’s fault. In his last three starts, he’s thrown at least 7 innings and struck out 9, 10, and last night, 11 batters. He has 30 strikeouts in his last 21 innings, and just 11 hits. Last night, he only allowed 2 runs on 3 hits. His ERA is currently sitting at 2.74; he hasn’t finished a season with a lower ERA since 2014, when he posted an absolutely ridiculous 2.17.
And sure, most of the blame for last night’s 6-2 loss to Minnesota can be placed on Alex Cora and his moronic bullpen decisions (Robby Scott instead of Joe Kelly? Really?), but the offense was asleep yet again. The only moment worth mentioning was child prodigy Rafael Devers hitting another homer.
It seems like the better Chris Sale gets, the worse the lineup plays for him. The Sox are 1-4 in games in which Sale hits double-digit strikeouts. The offense, meanwhile, is averaging 3.88 runs in his games. The only team giving their best starter less run support is the Mets, averaging 3.83 runs in games started by ace Jacob deGrom, who should also probably find a new team.
Sale’s contract is up at the end of this season, though there is an option for 2019. But at this point in the season, you can’t imagine he’d want to stay. The Red Sox have a chance at the postseason, but it doesn’t feel like they’d get very far. Baseball may be a team sport, but there’s only so many times you can take L’s before wanting to try playing for a team that’s going to treat you right and not ruin your lifetime stats. If Chris Sale wanted to leave, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in Boston who could blame him.