By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — If this is how Chris Sale reacts to walking a guy on April 5, imagine how locked in he’ll be if and when he’s pitching in the middle of a pennant race.
Sale showed Boston why he’s one of the game’s best pitchers in a number of ways in his dominant Red Sox debut on Wednesday night against the Pirates. One way was his ridiculous slider that baffled Pittsburgh hitters all night. Another was the way he reacted when he recorded his first walk of the season.
Sale walked Pirates third baseman David Freese with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, sending his strikeout-to-walk ratio skyrocketing to 7-to-1. As you can see in the GIF below, Sale was none too pleased, cursing at himself and looking generally agitated:
Fans on Twitter took notice of Sale’s demonstrative reaction to the walk:
To be fair, the game was deadlocked in a scoreless tie at the time and baserunners were at a premium for both teams. So Sale had good reason to be upset that he let a guy get to first. But it was a small glimpse into what gives the 28-year-old the makeup of a true ace.
Sale’s reaction to getting the final out of the seventh inning was even more fiery:
Sale obviously seems nutty on the mound, but it’s the good kind of nutty. It’s the type of demeanor you want in your top pitcher. This guy is going to compete for every last out, no matter what month it is.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.