Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Chris Sale: 'It’s hard not to be optimistic about this team for the next — a long time'

Ryan Hannable
October 09, 2017 - 7:26 pm

Chris Sale's first season as a member of the Red Sox didn't end the way he would have liked -- taking two of the three losses of the ALDS against the Astros -- but he knows the team has a bright future.

“I mean, if you look around here and look at the names, we have a lot of guys coming back," Sale said after the 5-4 loss Monday. "A lot of the guys that carried this team are young guys that are going to be here for awhile. It’s hard not to be optimistic about this team for the next — a long time.”

It was the Red Sox' second straight ALDS loss following being swept by the Indians last year.

The left-hander came into the game as a reliever in the fourth inning with the Red Sox trailing 2-1 and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, while not walking a batter and striking out six.

The two runs allowed came in the eighth inning with the Red Sox leading 3-2. He allowed a lead off homer to Alex Bregman and then Craig Kimbrel allowed an inherited runner to score to allow Houston to take a 3-2 lead at the time.

“Fine, I felt good," Sale said. "Like I said, I felt good, felt strong throughout. Didn’t get it done.”

His 4 2/3 innings pitched were the fifth-most by a Red Sox reliever in a playoff game and the most since Pedro Martinez went six innings in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS. This game comes the day after David Price went four scoreless innings of relief in the Game 3 win and appeared to give the Red Sox a ton of momentum.

“It’s tough," Sale said. "We come here to win. We worked hard. Came down to the wire, it was a close game. This one definitely sucks.”

It was Sale's first postseason series and now that he's had his first taste, it appears he is ready for more next year.

“This is what we show up to spring training for," he said. "This is what we work all offseason for. Ups and downs all over the country. This is what we live for. This is what we are here for. Take a little time off, get back to the drawing board and make another run at it next year."

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