BOSTON (CBS) — Chris Sale could be undefeated if not for a few tough-luck losses.
Sale fell to 8-3 on the season in the Red Sox’ 1-0 loss to the Phillies on Thursday night, despite putting forth another outstanding effort. He threw eight innings of four-hit ball, with the lone Phillies run coming on a pinch-hit RBI double by Ty Kelly. He struck out 10 to run his major-league-leading strikeout total to 136.
Cynical types may criticize Sale for giving up the lead late in the game, as he did in his first loss of the season in Detroit back on April 10. But it’s hard to rip Sale for losing 1-0, especially considering he nearly helped his own cause by doubling in the top of the eighth inning. The next two batters couldn’t hit him home.
The Red Sox have scored a grand total of one run in Sale’s three losses, to go with 12 hits in 25 innings. Meanwhile, Sale has allowed just six runs (five earned) in 23.2 innings in those starts, striking out 30.
Per usual, Sale continued to say all the right things and hold himself accountable after the loss.
“[The offense] picked me up my last handful of starts,” Sale said, via MLB.com. “I really wanted to pick them up tonight. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when with this team. I really would’ve liked to get that one for them.”
Sale had posted a 4.97 ERA in his previous four starts, yet won all of them. So it’s fair to note that the offense has indeed picked Sale up in recent starts, despite falling off the map and making him the tough-luck loser in others. If he had more consistent run support, Sale could be 11-0.
The Red Sox offense has been clutch in the late innings this season, but they’ll need to show it more often when they have their ace on the mound.