Chris Sale might have regained his velocity, which could be a gamechanger for the Boston Red Sox who are on a seven-game winning streak. The best 21st-century pitcher to never win a Cy Young award had a masterful performance against the Phillies, striking out ten batters in six innings of work while allowing only three runs. Sale’s fastball velocity was also a cause for optimism, as he had a full two ticks higher than his last performance with a top speed of 99 mph. This is a sign that Sale may have successfully recovered from the injuries that have limited him to just 36 starts over the last four seasons.
Sale’s revival is a crucial development for the Red Sox, who have struggled with their starting pitching. The rest of their rotation has put up lackluster performances, leading to a rotation ERA of 5.99. The only team with worse rotation ERA than Boston is the Oakland Athletics. If the Red Sox aim to contend in the American League East division, they’ll need to see improvements not only from Sale, but also from Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, and the rest of their rotation.
Sale’s past performances have shown that he has the potential to be a league above other MLB pitchers. He has an impressive career record of a 2.91 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings between 2012 and 2018. He also has a devastating slider-fastball combo that can make big league hitters look like helpless puddles. However, Sale’s brilliant career has been affected by injuries. He entered the 2021 season with a rash of optimism from fans but was off to a slow start, getting rocked in his first five starts with an average ERA of 8.22.
Sale’s performance against the Phillies may have signaled his return to form, which is crucial for a Red Sox team that has gained momentum. The team has a deep and experienced lineup that can win games but will need their starting pitching to catch up. The Red Sox desperately need Sale to be more than just a pitching machine, and his recent performance may have given fans reasons to be optimistic. The Red Sox will face a tough challenge in the upcoming games against the Astros and Yankees, but with Chris Sale back in his best form, they have a better chance to compete.