After allowing five runs to cross against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, Chris Sale describes his latest first-half struggle as "absolutely embarrassing".
On Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, Chris Sale notched another uncharacteristic start in what's been an odd and frustrating first half for Sale, described as "absolutely embarrassing" by the man himself. Cora was forced to pull the plug on Sale last night after lasting only 5.2 innings and allowing five earned runs off nine hits, raising the once Cy Young caliber lefties ERA up to 4.04 for the season.
It's no secret that Sale has been anything like himself in 2019. In fact, Red Sox fans haven't seen a "Sale-Day" quality outing since mid-June against a lackluster Baltimore Orioles lineup that sits 24th among all teams in baseball with a collective .241 batting average. Sale's only three wins this season have come against non-playoff contending teams. May third against the Chicago White Sox who sit at 41-43, third in the American League Central Division. June fifth versus the Kansas City Royals who have only 29 wins in their dead last place effort this year. Then June fifteenth against the Baltimore Orioles who again are one of the MLB's worst offenses and have even fewer wins than the Royals with 25. Dead last in the AL East if you didn't know.
Now wins are perhaps the most deceiving when evaluating a pitcher. We're all well aware that Sale has had his fair share of no-decisions or even losing efforts when going 7.0 innings plus for the Red Sox. However, that isn't the case this season. Instead, Sale has simply contributed to the dead weight that's continuously brought this team down, keeping them at a mediocre third-place position in the division.
Much like the Red Sox, Sale hasn't shown any strides of improvement recently. He's allowed four or more runs in 50 percent of his starts this season. His latest four starts have been anything but Sale quality, racking up a 5.96 ERA in his last 22.2 innings pitched where he allowed 15 earned runs to opponents. Unacceptable isn't even a suitable word for what Chris Sale has been this season. Let's put this in a statistical perspective. Last season the Boston Red Sox were 20-10 in Chris Sale starts. This year they've gone 6-12 thus far.
Allowing nine base hits to the Toronto Blue Jays was a season-high for Sale. A once Boston Ace has been anything but that in 2019. Both he and the Red Sox will need to figure out how to overcome first half struggles as their season hangs on the verge of falling off a cliff.