The Boston Red Sox have announced that starting pitcher Chris Sale will not be available to start Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
According to manager Alex Cora, Sale is still recovering from a stomach illness that landed him in the hospital for 24 hours immediately following his start in Game 1 on Saturday. Sale was well enough to rejoin his teammates for Game 3 in Houston on Tuesday, but still isn’t full strength after losing weight.
Cora says Sale won’t start Game 5. ‘He still feels weak. He lost some weight. It’s hard to believe, but he did. … He’s feeling better, but physically he’s not there.’ Sale would pitch G6. G5 starter? ‘We’ll find out after tonight.’
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) October 17, 2018
Sale clearly wasn’t himself in Game 1, struggling with a dip in velocity and command issues that limited his outing to four innings. Sale hung tough though, allowing just two runs on one hit.
The Red Sox lost Game 1, but have bounced back to win three straight to take a 3-1 series lead going into Game 4. That gives them a little more flexibility with their rotation. The team decided on David Price as their Game 5 starter after taking a 3-1 series lead.
Having Sale pitch at anything less than 100 percent would be a detriment regardless of the game’s urgency. He’ll have at least two extra days to rest and get closer to full strength for a potential Game 6. If the Red Sox clinch the ALCS in Houston, Sale would have until Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 23.
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