Was illness to blame for Chris Sale’s rough Game 1 start?
Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale was hospitalized over the weekend with a stomach issue, and manager Alex Cora originally said the illness did not impact Sale’s performance in Game 1 of the ALCS. Given some of the new information we have learned, it’s fair to wonder if Cora was telling the truth.
Sale was released from the hospital on Monday and has been cleared to join the Red Sox in Houston on Tuesday. From what Cora told reporters, the left-hander began vomiting after his start against the Astros on Saturday night.
Cora says Sale started throwing up after his start and decided to get checked out on Sunday. Asked if it was related to anything he was taking (i.e., medicine), Cora said, ‘No, not that I’m aware of.’
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) October 15, 2018
You don’t really need a report from a doctor to have reason to wonder if Sale was feeling his best when he was on the mound in Game 1. The fact that he began throwing up that same day is certainly troubling, especially when you consider that he didn’t look sharp at all.
Sale gave up just one hit in four innings, but he walked four batters and allowed two earned runs to score. His fastball also lacked its usual zip, which many attributed to him having to pitch an inning of relief against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the ALDS.
There have already been questions about Sale’s velocity and whether or not his shoulder is fully healthy, but the stomach illness may have also played a role. Sale is scheduled to start again in Game 5, so hopefully he has his strength back by then for Boston’s sake.