Chris sale gif
I don’t have any footage of myself watching and responding to Chris Sale’s start against the Athletics on Thursday, but I believe this. This gif will give you a clear idea of how I’m feeling: Alternatively, maybe this one would do the trick: That’s what you get when you watch Sale go from being the league’s third-hardest throwing left-handed starter to… not that: His fastball averaged 89.1 mph on Tuesday, the slowest of his career. His previous low over the previous three seasons was 90.2 mph, more than a full tick higher than his Tuesday results. Every pitcher’s velocity varies, but this wasn’t one of those times. His average fastball velocity was down 3 mph from his season-opening start of 92.3 mph. Sale was successful in the 92-93 mph range in 2016, though his strikeout rate was still well below his career average. That wouldn’t be too concerning, and Scott White expressed his thoughts on the subject after his first start.
At 88-89 miles per hour? The question Fantasy owners should be asking themselves isn’t “should I be concerned?” but rather “should I be concerned?” It’s a case of “how concerned should I be?” To answer that question, we’d have to find out why his velocity is dropping, which we don’t know right now. The Red Sox organization has provided us with some guesses and hints. But there’s no way of knowing for sure. Should you be concerned? Perhaps. Isn’t it pretty self-evident why? It was depressing to watch Sale on Tuesday. He had the appearance of a junkie. His slider resembled a slurve, and it’s difficult to understand how he got away with pitching like that. The Athletics were thrown off guard for a while, but with just six swinging strikes in seven innings, it was only a matter of time before they found him out. Although speed isn’t all, the decrease from 97-98 mph — where Sale worked last summer — to 88-89 mph is far too significant to dismiss. While Red Sox manager Alex Coa told reporters Wednesday that he isn’t concerned about Sale’s slowed velocity, he also stated that the team hasn’t asked Sale to hold his velocity back early.
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It’s a shame Ronald Belisario blew the save on Monday night, because the postgame discussion should have focused on Chris Sale’s gutsy (or erratic) six innings. He had a curious energy about him before the first baserunner arrived, despite the fact that he had spent the majority of the night making his way through a lot of traffic on the basepaths.
This was the game’s second batter. Perhaps Sale truly wanted to strike out Pearce, a teammate from Lakeland Senior High School in Florida, but it was strange to see flashes of Pissed Sale so early in the game, and his start never returned to normal. After the next hitter, Adam Jones, hit a home run, Sale and the Orioles agreed to play it safe the rest of the way.
Sale’s fastball was down a tick from his previous three starts, assuming the Brooks data holds up after revision, though he threw harder as the game progressed. He also went to his slider almost as much as he went to his shift, which he’d tried to avoid this season.
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Chris Sale has been probably the most difficult pitcher to strike this season, and one fantastic GIF demonstrates why. On Saturday, this GIF started to circulate. On one pitch, Sale throws a fastball, while on another, he throws a slider. You’ll find that his arm slot, body, leg kick, and delivery are virtually similar for both pitches if you pay attention.
When throwing various pitches (such as their off-speed stuff), some pitchers can have a slightly different arm slot or motion, which can throw hitters off. Sale, though, is an exception. In his first season with the Red Sox, the southpaw has been dominant. In 120.2 innings, he’s 11-3 with a 2.61 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 166 strikeouts. That’s the most strikeouts per nine innings he’s ever had in his career. GIFs like this illustrate why hitters have had a hard time figuring him out.
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As Chris Sale took the mound, what do you think the Dodgers were thinking? Do you think they were aware that their season was coming to an end? These are pros, some of the greatest hitters on the planet. They had to be confident. Was Sale’s emergence from the bullpen, rather than Craig Kimbrel’s, a stumbling block to that confidence? Neither pitcher had been particularly impressive in the postseason, but a hard-throwing strikeout machine letting loose for one inning brings to mind Randy Johnson’s World Series performance.
Sale hadn’t been his usual ferocious self in the 2018 postseason, with 14.1 innings, 11 hits, 8 walks, 21 strikeouts, and a 4.40 ERA. Since missing a significant portion of the regular season, his velocity was not the same when he returned. He seemed to be a little vulnerable.
But make no mistake: Sale has a degree of nastiness that few other pitchers can match. In 2018, he had a strikeout rate of 38.4 percent. Allow that to linger in your mind for a moment. Oh, and what about the walks? 5.5% of the population His HR/FB ratio was just 9.3%. Pitchers, as we all know, have complete control over strikeouts, walks, and home runs; Sale demonstrates his supremacy with those figures. He’s absolutely incredible. He’s possibly the best pitcher in the world on a per-inning basis (with respect to Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer).