Chris Sale has been in the process of regaining his form as ace of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff after several good-to-excellent starts throughout May. However, in his first start in June, Sale was removed from Thursday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning at Fenway Park.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora and their medical trainer checked on Chris Sale, left him in the game and then a couple pitches later, removed him from the game with just 59 pitches. pic.twitter.com/3NpVDPvtwS
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 2, 2023
Sale was rolling in the first 2 innings, with his sharp fastball and signature slider that allowed him to strike out 5 batters. He gave up two doubles and a run in the third inning and apparently felt discomfort in the fourth inning. Manager Alex Cora came out to check on Sale twice in that inning, and he removed the pitcher from the game after just 59 pitches.
Red Sox play by play announcer Dave O'Brien told his audience later in the game that Sale left the game with “left shoulder soreness.”
Sale has had numerous injury issues since the end of the 2018 season. He had Tommy John surgery and was limited to 9 starts in the 2021 season and just 2 starts last year.
The lean left-handed pitcher had been victorious in 4 of his previous 5 starts. He gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 5.0 innings of work against the Diamondbacks. Sale was quite sharp in the start before that against the San Diego Padres when he struck out 8 batters in 7.0 innings while giving up 3 hits and 2 earned runs.
He posted a 2.23 ERA and opponents hit just .172 against him. He struck out 35 hitters while walking just four in 32.1 innings.
The Red Sox and their fans are clearly hoping that Chris Sale does not have a serious shoulder problem that will keep him out of multiple starts in the coming weeks and months.