Red Sox Ace Chris Sale has had a rough start to his 2019 campaign. After being touched up in a number of his early starts, his ERA sits at 7.43 along with a 5.58 FIP. Most notably, his fastball velocity seemed to decline sharply, and his strikeout rate also fell to 22.6% after hovering around 30% for most of his career.
Sale recently signed a large contract with the Red Sox, and was an integral part of them winning last year’s World Series. Even towards the end of last season, Sale battled through shoulder discomfort and other injuries that he blamed for the decline in his fastball velocity.
Many have been concerned with Sale’s rough start to 2019, however many just blamed it on the Red Sox slow start all together. Many were still convinced that Sale would make the necessary adjustments to turn his season around, and that the tough start was only temporary.
On Wednesday, Sale took a massive step in the right direction in his start against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies lineup is full of sluggers, and Sale was able to strike out an outstanding 17 over just 7 innings of work. Sale’s fastball had late life, and his change-up just seemed to fall off the table.
Sale was flat out dominant, however the Red Sox eventually lost in extra innings. This is just another example of Boston’s early season struggles, but hopefully Sale can continue to perform and get the whole team going in the right direction.