Chris Sale saying right things, pitching wrong way

Rob Bradford
April 17, 2019 - 10:25 am

Chris Sale has been a good if not great pitcher since joining the Red Sox.

The team is 40-23 when he has started, with the lefty possessing an ERA of 2.84 with a .202 batting average against throughout the past three seasons. This year? Not good. He is 0-4 with an 8.50 ERA. Only one pitcher in baseball, Reynaldo Lopez of the White Sox, has a worse ERA after having made as many as four starts this season.

Sale has, however, managed to be consistently solid in one area: postgame quotes.

Tuesday night the ace once again aced his post-start session with the media after an uninspiring five-inning, four-run loss to the Yankees.

"In terms of throwing, it was better. Still, need to pitch better."

"If it is, I don’t remember. Like I said, just got to get better. This is as frustrated as I’ve ever been on a baseball field. Like I said, just got to get better. Got to get better."

"It sucks! I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I just flat out stink right now. I don’t know what it is. When you’re going good, it’s good. When you’re going bad, it’s pretty bad. You know, show up tomorrow, put on the shoes and get back after it."

"I just know I have to pitch better. I don’t care how I feel or what it looks like. I just need to start putting up zeroes."

"I’ve got to find a way to pitch better. This is flat-out embarrassing. For my family, for our team, for our fans. This is about as bad as it gets. Like I said, I have to pitch better. I keep saying the same things. At the end of the day, give up four runs here, five runs here, seven runs here, not getting into the sixth or seventh inning like I should, that’s who I am. I should pitch the sixth, seventh, eighth inning and finish games, stuff like that. Save our bullpen. Cut it off when we’re losing and keep winning streaks going. That’s not who I’ve been. I’ve got to get back to that."

"We better (expletive) hope so." (That one was in response to if he felt things are on the verge of returning to normal.)

The problem is that even a guy like Sale is running out of things to say when it comes to the Red Sox' current lot in life. Alex Cora is doing his darndest when it comes to fending off the urge for stem-to-stern vitriol. Mookie Betts has been throwing around words like "unacceptable" and "sucks" when describing his performance. And pitchers have fallen on their respective swords.

Listening to Sale it became clearer than ever that this isn't the kind of group that is going to be delusional about small gains. There is an understanding this is a results business and when you sit at 6-12 you comprehend business is not good.

"Got to keep grinding. Got to keep working. Got to get back to where we are or where we were," Sale concluded Tuesday night. "We know who we are. We know who we have in this locker room. Just got to get back to doing what we do and winning games."