USA Today Sports

Was Chris Sale holding back? Time will tell

Rob Bradford
September 26, 2018 - 9:25 pm

It was an uneven outcome for Chris Sale.

Making his last regular season start of the season, Sale lasted 4 2/3 innings against the Orioles Wednesday night, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking one. The lefty finished his outing throwing 92 pitches.

But what was undeniably the biggest takeaway from Sale's night was the velocity on his fastball.

According to, the Sox' ace maxed out at 94 mph, but routinely sat between 90-92 mph. His average for the game was 90.1 mph, the lowest of his career.

It was clear Sale was off in the first inning, hitting two batters while giving up an RBI triple into the right-field corner. Perhaps most concerning in the 23-pitch frame was the lefty's inability to top 92 mph. As the game progressed the pitcher managed to weave his way in and out of the strike zone with solid effectiveness, ultimately reaching 94 mph in the fourth inning.

Sale allowed an RBI single to Adam Jones with two outs in the fifth inning, coming on a slider. He was replaced by Eduardo Rodriguez.