At the beginning of the season, the entire Boston Red Sox team looked pretty far from the level we had seen them just last season, with Chris Sale as the most disappointing player in that period of time, after starting the season with a Terrible record of zero wins and 5 losses.
And although he has only achieved one victory so far this season, his most recent outings show a much more confident and focused Sale. But, what was his tremendous downfall? Boston pitching coach Dana LeVangie has told Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic that Sale was playing injured throughout the month of April:
Chris' Spring Training was different. We try to do things that we did last year. The only difference is that Chris was going through negotiations of his contract and an injury to his foot that has not been the same, and those were some factors that made him battle at the start of the season. Basically it was in its Spring Training form in April.
Sale has had a good month of May, as he has a 2.05 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched, despite only winning one game in the 4 starts he has made. In contrast, in April, Sale had a 4.67 ERA and lost 4 of the 5 matches he opened.
Chris Sale is the...— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 15, 2019
- 1st pitcher since Max Scherzer (May 11, 2016) to strike out 17+.
- 1st LHP with 17+ K since Johan Santana (Aug. 19, 2007).
- 1st Red Sox pitcher to do so since Pedro Martínez (May 6, 2000).
- 1st pitcher to EVER strike out 17+ in 7 or fewer IP. pic.twitter.com/IulhkL73J5