Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale knocked out five batteries, but struggled at times with his command in Wednesday’s rehabilitation start for the Worcester Red Sox.
Sale – who is on his way back from a stress fracture in his right chest – hit 3.2 innings and allowed three hits and five times for the Scranton / Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Here are five things we learned from what will likely be Sales’ last tune-up before returning to the big-league club.
Sales threw some very encouraging pitches
Sale started the game with a 97 mph fastball. In the second round, he threw the type of shooter that helped him give him a $ 145 million five-year deal – cut across the plate and ducked under a swinging bat. In the third, he wiped out Oswald Peraza – the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect – with three straight-breaking balls, after which he lured a doubles game that ended inning. In the fourth, Sale fell behind 2-0 to Armando Alvarez, after which he gathered back to knock him out with a 96 mph fastball – almost matching the heat from his first pitch of the match.
Sale threw 58 percent of his lanes for strikes and showed three lanes – his fastball, slider and changeup. His last statistical line was not very impressive, but he showed some encouraging glimpses and told reporters that he thought the problems with his command were very solvable.
Sale went into a race with his last pitch
After the game, Sales mocked and called his performance “not good”.
“Decent at times, but the command was not good,” Sale said, per Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier. “… I was right out there fishing today.”
Sale had a chance to end his evening on a good note – Worcester’s managers allowed him to stay in the game a little over his court boundary to try and clean up a mess full of bases. But Sale could not find the zone facing his last dough, and he let Railriders catcher David Freitas – the team’s No. 9 hitter – climb a race, ending his evening on a frustrating tone.
Sale called his outing “nothing to hang your hat on” and said he had a lot of things to clean up.
“It’s nothing overwhelming,” he added.
Worcester was ready for the apartment
The last time Sale performed with rehab in Worcester, the team’s outfielder Tate Matheny made a spectacular catch at the wall – and robbed an opponent of a homer from Sale.
Whether it was on purpose or not, Worcester were ready for Sales start Wednesday with a deeply fitting bobblehead.
Worcester saw both Sale and Brayan Bello
While trying to help the big league’s ace rehab, Worcester’s managers also tried to see the Red Sox in Boston, where top prospect Brayan Bello got his first major league start on Wednesday.
“It’s a little contradictory. I have to focus on one of the best pitchers in baseball, but my mind is on a guy who’s making his debut,” WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott told Alex Speier. the organization, it’s a proud moment across the board. “
Like Sale, Bello showed glimpses, but was ultimately overwhelming – six hits and four runs in four innings, with three walks and two strikeouts.
Sale can look up in the major leagues next week
Sales’ next opportunity could come against the Rays in Tampa Bay, following a four-game series against the Yankees at Fenway. They start their road series against the Rays on Monday.
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