Boston’s AL-best 51-31 record may seem like a smooth cruise on its surface, but pitcher Chris Sale knows that the path to success for the Red Sox has required some true “grit.”
“How many times have we been down three, four runs in the first inning, second inning, or in the sixth or seventh inning and come back and gotten that?” said Sale, reflecting on the 28 comeback wins achieved by Boston this season.
Sale added, “Just the grit. When I think of this team I just think of grit — like just sandpaper.”
The pitcher, who is currently rehabbing a Tommy John procedure from March 2020, acknowledged the eye-opening offense that has stepped up for Boston when their pitching takes a back seat.
“If and when our starter did stumble a little bit, our offense is right there to pick us up.”
As the Red Sox wait on Sale’s return to the mound, with deficiencies largely found in their bullpen, the left-handed pitcher has participated in simulated contests and some pitching sessions — clocking 94+ mph throws that have impressed Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
“Just the command of the pitches,” said Cora in an interview with ESPN. “That’s something that I didn’t expect. And he was able to throw fastballs inside, fastballs arm side, up and away, put people away. The changeup was good and the slider was good.”
The return of their 7-time All-Star leaves a trending Red Sox team curious as to how their collective performance will improve once the healthy ace returns to Fenway Park.
“I saw him walking by, I talked to him out there, and he feels good about where he’s at, how he went about it, so we’ll see what this brings,” concluded the Red Sox manager.