Rosenthal: Sale extension 5 years, $145 million

pokey_reese

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At the end of the day, the biggest thing we can lean on right now is that every other year of his career to this point he has thrown his FB 50-60% of the time, and this year it is at 37% through four starts (according to Fangraphs, at least). He's also throwing it more slowly than usual, and it has a significantly lower value than in the past. Additionally, according to Brooks Baseball all of his pitches are showing reduced velocity so far, not just his fastball. So that leaves us with what options?
  • He is throwing his fastball the same amount, but the velocity/spin is down enough that they are being wrongly classified as sliders
  • He is throwing his fastball less because he is trying to protect his shoulder and he identified it as the source of his problems last year
  • He is throwing his fastball less because it hurts him, or is injured
  • He is throwing his fastball less because he recognizes how ineffective it is, whether due to a change in mechanics or natural decline in performance due to the normal wear and tear on his shoulder
Neither he nor Cora have talked about a deliberate attempt to change the pitch mix as a precaution (though perhaps that's just to avoid signalling, but teams have access to this data), so it seems more likely that it's happening naturally as a response to how ineffective it is.

Luckily, we are getting to the point in the season where someone smarter than me over at Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus will do a detailed breakdown of Sale's mechanics and pitch/fx stats, and we should have a pretty good idea of what's going on soon. A quick look at the pitch/fx data by my untrained eye actually shows some good news, which is that movement and release points don't appear to be way out of line with the norms, even if the velocity is. He does seem to be leaving his pitches way up, but I don't know if that's a pitch calling issue or a command problem on his end.

The one conclusion that doesn't appear to be at all supported by the data so far though, is that everything is fine and he is making his normal pitches but getting unlucky results. Strand rate is way down even though BABIP isn't crazy high. Barrel/solid contact rate is doubled, HR/FB rate has skyrocketed, etc.. The good news is that it's still early enough that it could be a bad month, and then he tweaks a few things and crushes it for the rest of the season. If he says he is healthy (a big if, but we have to take him at his word), they should be able to turn it around.
 

DirtyWater90

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Nov 26, 2018
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On the flip side, I don’t have a citation but I read last night was the most “hard contact” Sale has allowed in any game since coming to BOS.
It was (tied his opening day start this year). I’m still going to be encouraged by the stuff I saw from him last night. He’s on the verge of fixing this.
 

chrisfont9

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It was (tied his opening day start this year). I’m still going to be encouraged by the stuff I saw from him last night. He’s on the verge of fixing this.
Yeah I think at least #3 seems implausible, since he was hitting 97. But any of the other three explanations seem totally plausible, varying only in how terrifying they are.
 

Gash Prex

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Sale looks like he is rounding into form - everybody can step back from the ledge.

Just threw an immaculate inning and has been completely dominating the last few starts
 

BaseballJones

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Last 4 starts:

26 IP, 15 H, 6 BB (only 1 in last 2 starts), 42 K
To complete this:

26.0 ip, 15 h, 5 er, 6 bb, 42 k, 1.73 era, 0.81 whip, 14.5 k/9

Last 2 starts:

14.0 ip, 6 h, 1 er, 1 bb, 24 k, 0.64 era, 0.50 whip, 15.4 k/9

So yes CHRIS F-ING SALE is back.

The rest of the rotation has been excellent as well, since their historically bad start. Their starters' ERA in mid-aril was nearly *9.00* and now it's down to 4.91, and they're ranked 10th in the AL. The whole body of work is still not good for the rotation (even Sale's still got a 4.50 era) but given where they were two weeks in, they've been remarkably good.

The ship has been righted. Back to .500. After all that, they're just 5 games out of first. 8-2 in their last 10. 10-4 in their last 14. 13-6 in their last 19. 8-game homestead coming up that features three against Houston, followed by a 7-game road trip which also features three against Houston.

Price should be back soon. The league had a chance to bury the Red Sox and didn't do it. Sucks for them.
 

DeadlySplitter

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7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 17 K, 108 pitches, 74 strikes (69%)

the 3 hits: bloop-ish double JD did not play well, Mookie would have caught it if JBJ was in, a grounder that snuck through the middle, and a monster high launch-angle HR that's probably an out in other ballparks

8 of first 9 batters were K's, last 6 outs were K's I believe
 

Pitt the Elder

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MLB Stats‏Verified account @MLBStats 4m4 minutes ago
Chris Sale is the... - 1st pitcher since Max Scherzer (May 11, 2016) to strike out 17+. - 1st LHP with 17+ K since Johan Santana (Aug. 19, 2007). - 1st Red Sox pitcher to do so since Pedro Martínez (May 6, 2000). - 1st pitcher to EVER strike out 17+ in 7 or fewer IP.
7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 17 K, 108 pitches, 74 strikes (69%)

the 3 hits: bloop-ish double JD did not play well, Mookie would have caught it if JBJ was in, a grounder that snuck through the middle, and a monster high launch-angle HR that's probably an out in other ballparks

8 of first 9 batters were K's, last 6 outs were K's I believe
The Arenado HR had an xBA of .270 and traveled a whopping 354 feet. I heard on the radio that it would be a home run in only 1 of the 30 ballparks... Literally a Fenway special.
 

Hatcher Steals Home

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41 Ks to 1 BB over 21 IP in Sale’s last three outings. As evidenced by the K’s alone, he has been dominant and fun to watch. As for the contract, let’s enjoy his pitching for now.
 

BaseballJones

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Sale's last 5 games: 33.0 ip, 18 h, 7 er, 6 bb, 59 k, 1.91 era, 0.73 whip, 16.1 k/9

So yeah, CHRIS SALE is back. Amazingly, the Sox have won only 2 of those 5 games.
 

m0ckduck

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Sorry if this has been covered already, but: the Rockies struck out 24 times as a team and won— is that the all-time single-game high for a winning team? According to this list, it looks like only losing teams have previously racked up 24 or more strikeouts. (However, since that list is truncated at 4 results, I'm not sure if there isn't a higher previous AL total hiding in there).
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Sorry if this has been covered already, but: the Rockies struck out 24 times as a team and won— is that the all-time single-game high for a winning team? According to this list, it looks like only losing teams have previously racked up 24 or more strikeouts. (However, since that list is truncated at 4 results, I'm not sure if there isn't a higher previous AL total hiding in there).
It's tied for #2 all-time. On June 8, 2004, the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 while striking out 26 times in a 17-inning game.

What's even more remarkable about that game is the Angels' offensive performance. They only struck out 7 times in those 17 innings. They also only walked twice. That means that of 59 batters the Brewers pitchers faced, 50 put the ball in play. How many hits do you think the Angels eked out of those 50 BIP? Answer: 4. None for extra bases. That's an .080 BABIP for the day. Good God.
 

tims4wins

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It's tied for #2 all-time. On June 8, 2004, the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 while striking out 26 times in a 17-inning game.

What's even more remarkable about that game is the Angels' offensive performance. They only struck out 7 times in those 17 innings. They also only walked twice. That means that of 59 batters the Brewers pitchers faced, 50 put the ball in play. How many hits do you think the Angels eked out of those 50 BIP? Answer: 4. None for extra bases. That's an .080 BABIP for the day. Good God.
Scoscia ball baby

Fun box score to look at. Angels had a .193 OPS for the day. Their offensive WPA was -1.955. LOL.

The Angels only had 59 plate appearances vs. a minimum of 51 in the 17 innings. So less than 3.5 PA per inning. So, so bad.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Sorry if this has been covered already, but: the Rockies struck out 24 times as a team and won— is that the all-time single-game high for a winning team? According to this list, it looks like only losing teams have previously racked up 24 or more strikeouts. (However, since that list is truncated at 4 results, I'm not sure if there isn't a higher previous AL total hiding in there).

Edit: Covered above, but:

I see 9 instances of 24 strikeouts, with 3 wins, including last night.

The Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 in 17 innings in 2004. (26 K)

The Cubs beat the Mets 7-1 in 14 innings last year. (24 K)
 

charlieoscar

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Ron Neccai deserves mention--on May 13, 1952, he struck out 27 batters in a 9-inning game for the Pirates Class D farm club, the Bristol Twins of the Appalachian League. This included a 4-strikeout 9th inning. In his next start, he struck out 24.
 

DeadlySplitter

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https://theathletic.com/978772/2019/05/15/with-a-historic-strikeout-performance-chris-sale-answers-nagging-questions-and-then-some/

  • Sale has at least 14 strikeouts and no walks in each of his past two starts. Since 1893, when the mound moved to its current distance, the only other pitcher in baseball history with two straight starts of this type was Dwight Gooden in Sept. 1984, with 16 strikeouts in each of his outings.
  • Sale is the second Red Sox pitcher ever to post back-to-back starts of at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks. The other is Cy Young (Sept. 19 and Sept. 23, 1905).
  • Sale tied Randy Johnson (April 21, 2002) for the most strikeouts by a starting pitcher against the Rockies in a single game in franchise history.
  • The 17 strikeouts are tied for second-most in Red Sox history with Pedro Martinez (5/6/00 vs. TB; 9/10/99 at NYY) and Bill Monbouquette (5/12/61 at WAS).
“He made a lot of pitches the last (start), so you have to be careful,” Cora said. “There’s a bigger goal here, and we’ve been very disciplined throughout the process. You still have to be disciplined, and I think he understands.”

Sale didn’t argue the decision.

“You’ve got 17 punchouts, you definitely want to go out for the last inning,” he said. “But I respect (Cora) as much as anybody on the planet, and I’ll never question anything he does, even in regards to me with that.”

Well, maybe he argued it a little bit.

“All of a sudden they scored two,” Cora said of the seventh-inning Arenado homer. “In the tunnel (Sale) goes, ‘You’re not going to let me get 20?’ (He was) sarcastic, but probably serious.
 

The Gray Eagle

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The Athletic reports that Sale was dealing with a toe injury in March into April.

"When it took Chris Sale a full month to look like himself on the mound, the easy second guess was that Red Sox pulled back the reins a little too much in their plan to ease their pitchers through spring training.

Now that Sale is coming off a historic 17-strikeout performance on Tuesday night and appears to have regained his dominance, we know his slow build-up wasn’t completely intentional.

Not only was the 30-year-old lefty coming off the first World Series victory of his 10-year career, one that forced him to pitch deeper into the season than he ever had, but he was also dealing with a previously undisclosed toe injury, according to Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie."​

In addition to the toe injury, or maybe because of it, Sale's delivery was a bit off.

“A lot of small little things can make other things go bad, and his lack of extension was coming from the fact that his arm path was going too far back,” LeVangie said...
In Seattle, Sale’s arm and elbow appeared almost parallel to the ground before delivery.

“We just had a conversation about what his arm path was doing, and how it was maybe affecting his release point, his pitch mix and all the above,” LeVangie said. “We wanted a cleaner line going back, rather than straight behind him and it didn’t allow him to work more back to front in his delivery.”

By his 17-strikeout performance, his arm path had been tweaked slightly.

“Now his momentum is working toward the catcher in the best possible way, his extension is back, pitch mix is far better and it doesn’t allow the hitter to see the ball for so long,” LeVangie said.​
 

BaseballJones

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The amount of stuff we don’t know is staggering.
This is exactly right. We have some pretty knowledgeable sports fans here in all sports. But we don’t know but a tiny fraction of what’s going on with these players, coaches, and teams. Yet we are so quick to make judgments that may or may not have any basis in reality.

This is a good reminder of that.
 

InstaFace

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It's tied for #2 all-time. On June 8, 2004, the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 while striking out 26 times in a 17-inning game.

What's even more remarkable about that game is the Angels' offensive performance. They only struck out 7 times in those 17 innings. They also only walked twice. That means that of 59 batters the Brewers pitchers faced, 50 put the ball in play. How many hits do you think the Angels eked out of those 50 BIP? Answer: 4. None for extra bases. That's an .080 BABIP for the day. Good God.
It's posts like this that keep me reading SoSH.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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"A" Sox game; I live in Sacramento. By the way, when the Sox were in Oakland my son and I bought tickets at the window 30 minutes before game time and sat in the 4th row behind home plate for $70 each. I dont know how they survive.
Because they aren’t charging that to play the Blue Jays. The Sox are a national draw and dynamic pricing is used in almost all mlb stadiums now. What you pay to watch then play the Sox isn’t what you pay to watch them play the Padres. (And also what Lose said)
 

The Needler

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Because they aren’t charging that to play the Blue Jays. The Sox are a national draw and dynamic pricing is used in almost all mlb stadiums now. What you pay to watch then play the Sox isn’t what you pay to watch them play the Padres. (And also what Lose said)
Seeing as how the average MLB ticket price is around $80, I’m going to guess he was saying he doesn’t understand how they stay alive being unable to sell premium tickets even with prices so LOW.
 

bosockboy

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Seeing as how the average MLB ticket price is around $80, I’m going to guess he was saying he doesn’t understand how they stay alive being unable to sell premium tickets even with prices so LOW.
Yep. $70 behind home plate is crazy for anywhere, particularly against the Sox.
 
Dec 6, 2017
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Ann Arbor, MI
"A" Sox game; I live in Sacramento. By the way, when the Sox were in Oakland my son and I bought tickets at the window 30 minutes before game time and sat in the 4th row behind home plate for $70 each. I dont know how they survive.
How's the drive into Oakland and SF? I'm moving to Reno in a month and I'd love to hit an A's and Giants game.
 

BaseballJones

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The Sox having lost the last two against Houston, with Sale being dominant lately, it would be fantastic to see him put up 7 innings of zeroes. Here are his last two years' worth of performances against the Astros, all of which took place in the playoffs:

2017
5.0 ip, 9 h, 7 r, 7 er, 1 bb, 6 k (L, 8-2)
4.2 ip, 4 h, 2 r, 2 er, 0 bb, 6 k (L, 5-4)

2018
4.0 ip, 1 h, 2 r, 2 er, 4 bb, 5 k (L, 7-2)

TOT: 13.2 ip, 14 h, 11 r, 11 er, 5 bb, 17 k, 7.24 era, 1.39 whip, 11.2 k/9

Granted, both of those playoff runs were when Sale was worn down and not throwing like he has been lately. But still, not an encouraging overall data set against these Astros.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Sale averaged 94.5 on his 4 seam today, by far his best of the season but struggled with his control, especially on his slider. Eck and Remy mentioned on the broadcast some awkward delivery - field conditions or was he struggling with his mechanics?
 
Jul 5, 2018
126
Yep. $70 behind home plate is crazy for anywhere, particularly against the Sox.
I've been to Sox games at Oakland where it was packed on the level along the 1st base line with Boston fans, but the recent game a weekday game
Yep. $70 behind home plate is crazy for anywhere, particularly against the Sox.
The other thing is that we could show up at the window a few minutes before the game and get great seats. I ended up in Boston during a business trip after a last minute change in schedule and the only available tickets were standing room only. In Oakland, if there is such a thing, people would no show or leave early so it's likely seats would open up and you could sit down for at least half of the game. At the Sox game, nothing opened up until the bottom of the 8th and we were barked at, in a friendly way, by nearby fans as if we were low-life. There was a hard-core Yankees fan travelling with us and he absolutely refused to watch a game at Fenway.

The main point of my post is the level of confidence in their knowledge of the game, compared to the team's coaching staff, of many local Sox fans. I watched a game on national TV during the season where JBJ set the non infinite record, 121 to 1, for K to HR ratio. John Kruk made some comment about JBJ's toe tap and the reaction on SOSH was that Kruk had solved the problem and that Chili Davis and JBJ, who probably spent hours a day watching videos, were idiots.
Sale averaged 94.5 on his 4 seam today, by far his best of the season but struggled with his control, especially on his slider. Eck and Remy mentioned on the broadcast some awkward delivery - field conditions or was he struggling with his mechanics?
I looked it up, and addition to being 6'6", Sale has an 82" wingspan. Not having mechanical problems is likely to be exponentially more difficult for Sale than compared to an average pitcher.
 

Al Zarilla

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How's the drive into Oakland and SF? I'm moving to Reno in a month and I'd love to hit an A's and Giants game.
Oakland is easy, even though their stadium is kinda crummy. The Coliseum is right on 880, which you would take south off of 80. Big parking lot right there.

Giants stadium, now called Oracle Park is kind of downtown SF in an area called South Beach, specifically Third and King or Willie Mays Plaza. Take 80 again and Google Maps the rest. Big parking lot(s) there as well. You pay.
 
Jul 5, 2018
126
Oakland is easy, even though their stadium is kinda crummy. The Coliseum is right on 880, which you would take south off of 80. Big parking lot right there.

Giants stadium, now called Oracle Park is kind of downtown SF in an area called South Beach, specifically Third and King or Willie Mays Plaza. Take 80 again and Google Maps the rest. Big parking lot(s) there as well. You pay.
My recomendation is to pick up BART along the 680 Corridor. You'll miss some traffic and avoid parking costs and tolls.
 

jerry casale

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Jul 18, 2005
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Is Chris Sale David Price 2.0?
30M a year for a 20M guy that struggles to win big games.
Sale is great but since he has been here either they don't score for him or the BP blows it for him.
Some guys just win, some guys just can't win no matter how good they are.
It's sports.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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Is Chris Sale David Price 2.0?
30M a year for a 20M guy that struggles to win big games.
Sale is great but since he has been here either they don't score for him or the BP blows it for him.
Some guys just win, some guys just can't win no matter how good they are.
It's sports.
He really needs to do better at both of these things.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I don't get the complaints tonight at all. the one "bad" inning had two very cheap hits out of four, maybe three. he got through 6 and had a quality start if he gets luckier. the Yankees are good.

he's clearly trying to save the fastball velocity for later in the year. he pumped it up to 95+ when in jams.

EDIT: reading that first post tonight more closely, that's some gamethread shit.
 

Sampo Gida

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Aug 7, 2010
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I thought Sale pitched fine tonight. Hicks was sitting on slider on that last pitch and he threw one that was in the zone.

Of course this is a lineup with Kendry Morales, Maybin and some Gigo dude at 3B I never heard of before this year, and a Hicks who hasn't really got it going yet since his return.

That said his slider was sharp and he had the FB velocity when needed. If not for a YS3 XBH they might still be playing

Offense should have done more but Happ seems to have their number, and a stoopid baserunning mistake that should get a player benched for a month

Yankees have had a nice run over the last 30 games despite the injuries but playing 20 games against last place teams helped them a bit. They will regress. Red Sox need a 2Bman with Chavis full time at 1B and another ace BP arm to dig out of this hole
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I thought Sale pitched fine tonight. Hicks was sitting on slider on that last pitch and he threw one that was in the zone.

Of course this is a lineup with Kendry Morales, Maybin and some Gigo dude at 3B I never heard of before this year, and a Hicks who hasn't really got it going yet since his return.

That said his slider was sharp and he had the FB velocity when needed. If not for a YS3 XBH they might still be playing

Offense should have done more but Happ seems to have their number, and a stoopid baserunning mistake that should get a player benched for a month

Yankees have had a nice run over the last 30 games despite the injuries but playing 20 games against last place teams helped them a bit. They will regress. Red Sox need a 2Bman with Chavis full time at 1B and another ace BP arm to dig out of this hole
I agree..... but he's expected to pitch better. I'm not looking for perfection... but something pretty close to it. He's now getting paid to be one of the best pitchers in the league and since his horrendous start is pitching more like a 2nd tier guy. While that's fine... .it won't be enough. This year is definitely feeling like 2005 with Sale playing the Schilling role... in a way....
I'm sure he feels the same way right now. But the loss should mostly be pinned on the inability all season long now to get consistent playing from all elements of the team at the same time