Recaps

Final Start a Mixed Bag For Chris Sale

The Red Sox ace took the mound for the last time in the regular season, but the lefty struggled against the hapless Baltimore Orioles.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (Sept. 25, 2018 – Source: Getty Images North America) 

The Boston Red Sox wrapped up the second game of their doubleheader with a loss. The result of the game really didn’t matter, as the Red Sox already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, just because the wins and losses don’t mean much doesn’t mean that there was nothing to take away from this game. Chris Sale made his final start of the regular season, and the lefty had a mixed day on the mound.

Chris Sale Uneven In Final Start of the Season

As previously mentioned, Chris Sale started the second game of the day for the Red Sox. The team ace either didn’t have his best stuff or wasn’t giving it all. His fastball, which can reach as much as 99 miles per hour, rested in the low 90’s all night long. Sale heavily used his slider, but didn’t have his usual command.

In all, Sale finished his night with three earned runs, four hits, two hit batsmen, eight strikeouts, and one walk in 4.2 innings. This wasn’t his best start by any means, and you’d like to see better heading into the postseason. However, there’s a very real chance that Sale just didn’t want to overexert himself prior to the playoffs. There’s really no way to know until playoff baseball actually commences.

Speaking of injured pitchers, Matt Barnes also came in to tonight’s game. It wasn’t a good night for the righty, as he went just 0.1 innings while allowing four hits, one walk, and three earned runs. Barnes’ postseason roster spot isn’t in jeopardy by any means, but the hard throwing righty has significantly struggled of late.

In happier news, Eduardo Rodriguez looks to have adjusted well to life in the bullpen. The lefty came in during the fifth inning, inheriting runners at second and third with two outs. Rodriguez worked out of the jam, striking out the first batter he faced before coming back to take care of the sixth inning.

Likewise, Ryan Brasier continued his late-season dominance. The righty needed just 11 pitches to get out of the eighth inning, retiring all three batters he faced. With Barnes’ recent struggles, Brasier will almost certainly serve as Craig Kimbrel’s setup man in the postseason.

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