Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale has looked like a shell of his former self to begin the 2023 season. It didn't take him long to take things from bad to worse in his third start of the year.
Sale's first inning against the scorching hot Tampa Bay Rays did not go as he probably planned. Sale walked a pair of hitters and allowed a three-run home run, putting the Red Sox in a hole early. In his first nine innings this season, Sale gave up five home runs and allowed 20 hitters to reach base.
Once a dominant force on the mound, Sale is now the subject of some major scrutiny from baseball fans on social media.
Chris Sale needs to call it a career https://t.co/Inwa1Pm7GJ
— semaJ (@semaJ7272) April 12, 2023
CHRIS SALE IS THE WORST PITCHER IN BASEBALL https://t.co/JlHFqm4tFu
— Hoodie Maybin (@HoodieMaybin) April 12, 2023
Phantom iL coming soon. Dude is done.
— Matt (@Desertcanuck) April 12, 2023
It has been a major fall from grace for Sale over the last four seasons. From his debut in 2010 through the 2018 season, Sale was one of the best pitchers in baseball. In that time span, he had a 2.89 ERA and averaged 199 strikeouts a season. Sale finished top-6 in AL Cy Young Award Voting for six straight seasons and recorded the final out in the 2018 World Series with the Red Sox.
Before his start on Wednesday, Sale had a 4.37 ERA in 38 starts since 2019. He has thrown just 56.2 innings over the last four seasons, including his first two starts in 2023.
The Red Sox handed Sale a five-year, $145 million contract before the 2020 season. It has turned into one of the worst contracts in all of baseball. It's a shame to see a once-great star in Chris Sale turn into an injury-prone pitcher. Red Sox fans must be tired of seeing it, but Sale did help them win a title, so something has to count for that.