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Cora on OMF: Sale feels good, remains on track to be ready for start of playoffs

John Tomase
September 12, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes Chris Sale is on track to contribute in the postseason after throwing one inning in his return to the mound on Tuesday night.

Making his weekly visit on OMF on Wednesday, Cora said Cora feels better the day after starting than he did after either of his last two starts, each of which resulted in a stint on the disabled list.

"I think he's going to be honest and comparing his situation, compared to when he went on the DL and after Baltimore, he feels good," Cora said. "He feels good."

The next step for Sale is playing catch on Wednesday in advance of Sunday's start against the Mets. Cora hopes he throws three or four innings before stretching out to six or seven innings in his final start of the season, against the Orioles in late September. That would leave Sale with eight or nine days of rest before the Division Series begins on Oct. 5.

On Tuesday against the Blue Jays, Sale exhibited some rust. He allowed a double and struck out two in one inning, throwing 26 pitches and 14 strikes.

"He didn't pitch for so long that his mechanics were off," Cora said. "He was excited, actually, a little bit anxious. You heard him. His mechanics were out of whack and the game sped up on him, which is like, wow, that happens to the best of the best. He made some good pitches, the fastball was 96, 97, the slider was OK, and he was able to get out of it."

Cora decided against giving Sale a second inning, preferring that he throw 12 more pitches in the bullpen.

When all was said and done, Cora liked what he had seen and what it means for October.

"He will be where he needs to be," Cora declared. "We're counting on this guy in October, and I feel confident that he's going to contribute."