BOSTON (CBS) — Boston’s first opponent in the playoffs is still TBD. But we know who will get the ball for the Red Sox in Game 1.
President of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski spilled the beans Tuesday on MLB Network Radio, revealing that lefty Chris Sale will get the ball when the Red Sox take the field for the ALDS next Friday at Fenway Park.
While Sale and his 12-4 record and 2.00 ERA make him a clear choice to get the Game 1 start, the lefty’s battle with shoulder inflammation since July opened the door for David Price to get the nod. But Sale is expected to be back to his usual form by next week, as he’ll stretch out to 90 pitches in his final regular season start Wednesday night against Baltimore.
Wednesday will be Sale’s fourth start since being activated from the disabled list. He threw 73 pitches against the Cleveland Indians his last time out, allowing two runs over 3.1 innings, and is expected to be back at the 100-pitch range when the postseason begins.
Sale getting the ball in Game 1 was never really in doubt, but it’s a nice reassurance that Boston’s ace is OK following his injury hampered second half.
The Red Sox have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and will play either the New York Yankees or Oakland Athletics in the ALDS.