BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox ace Chris Sale says he’s fully healthy heading into his Game 1 start against the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
Shoulder issues caused the Boston lefty to miss most of the final two months of the regular season, but he told reporters Friday that there will be no limitations for him going forward. He’s ready to go, and he isn’t holding anything back with a trip to the World Series on the line.
“I think we’re at the point now where there’s no holding back. There’s no limitations,” Sale said Friday afternoon following Boston’s postseason workout at Fenway Park. “It’s all hands on deck. We’re here to win. We’ve got to do whatever it takes to get there and I think you can ask anybody in that clubhouse or on that coaching staff, they’ll do about anything it takes to get there.”
Sale went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 237 strikeouts over his 27 regular season starts. He was Boston’s Game 1 starter against the Yankees in the ALDS and earned the first playoff win of his career, holding the New York bats to two runs over 5.1 innings while striking out eight. He followed that up with a relief appearance in Tuesday’s Game 4 clincher, pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
Now he’s set to face an Astros team that won 103 games during the regular season and is coming off a three-game sweep of Cleveland in the ALDS. The Astros outscored the Indians 21-5 in the series.
Houston hit Sale pretty hard during the regular season, tagging the lefty for four runs in six innings in a 7-3 Boston loss on June 1. He’s confident that he’ll be much better when he takes the mound against them Saturday night.
“We know who we’re up against. They’ve got some good arms. They have a good lineup. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t,” he said. “They’ve got guys who can put the ball in the seats at any time and you just try to break that down, try not to give up that big inning or that big hit.
“On the flip side, I like the guys that I have in my corner, too,” Sale added.
Game 1 is set for 8:09 p.m. Saturday night at Fenway Park.