Chris Sale’s First Start For The Red Sox Was Everything I Had Hoped For

by Ben Porter | Posted on Thursday, April 6th, 2017
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Pittsburgh Pirates v Boston Red Sox

Yesterday was a special day for us Boston Red Sox fans. Hyped up since the Red Sox acquired him in December, it was the moment we had all been waiting for: Chris Sale’s first start. Memories of Clay Buchholz’ no-hitter in his debut ran through my mind leading up to this game. The lanky lefty would surely throw a gem in his debut. And boy oh boy did he.

Sale diced up the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup to the tune of a 7IP 0ER 3H BB 7K stat line. He fell victim to a pitcher’s duel and didn’t record the win, but he kept the Sox in the game and put them in a position to win, which they eventually did. In the bottom of the 12th inning, the greatest hitter of all time walked off with a 3-run home run. I’m talking about Sandy Leon folks. With that hit, Chris Sale’s first start in a Red Sox uniform was a success.

Sale’s stuff is flat out nasty. His fastball was up to 98mph in 40-degree weather. His slider induced 5 of his 7 Ks. Sale could throw a slider that would hit me in the balls and I would still chase it for strike 3. That’s how good it is. There’s a reason this game was so highly anticipated, and Sale did not disappoint.

Last night was a big game for the Red Sox. With a flu-like illness spreading through the clubhouse like the plague, the Sox offense was without Mookie Betts. Robbie Ross Jr. and Brock Holt were also out with the same illness. Though they didn’t get it done until the 12th inning, the Sox showed toughness without their biggest offensive weapon. Sandy Leon stepped up in a big way, though it was just another day at the park for him. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 2-4 and a walk day. In the end, they scratched and clawed their way to a win.

The bullpen was impressive last night as well. Matt Barnes, Craig Kimbrel, Heath Hembree, and Robby Scott combined for 3IP and allowed just one hit. Joe Kelly recorded the win and was dominant in his 2IP, allowing just one baserunner. Kelly’s fastball comes in at an average of 98mph, and he touched 100mph last night. Superhuman arm strength. His stuff is as good as anyone’s, but he has never been quite as good as he is capable of being. Remember Daniel Bard? The greatest pitcher who never was? Sorry to bring about bad memories, but that’s who Joe Kelly reminds me of. Last night, Kelly showed that he has what it takes. Let’s hope he can keep it throughout the season.

I don’t believe in too many things. I was always skeptical of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. I question whether my reality TV shows are scripted or not. Hell, the NBA might be scripted. But… I believe in this team. The 2017 Red Sox are competitors and I think they’re going far this year. I truly believe that. Chris Sale is on the Red Sox and he is not messing around. He was made to pitch in Boston and is going to help lead us to the promised land. He got his first taste of the Dirty Water last night and there is so much more to come. Go Sox.

Follow Ben on Twitter @Ben13Porter

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Ben Porter
About the Author

Ben is a sophomore at Columbia University where he plays baseball. He loves everything about the game and is a little biased toward the Boston Red Sox, Ben has future ambitions of a career in sports media, follow him on Twitter @Ben13Porter

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