Well, that didn’t take long for the Red Sox new manager to make his first mistake that resulted in a loss that falls squarely on his shoulders. Sox had a nice 4-0 lead over the Rays heading into the 7th inning with Chris Sale cruising with just over 90 pitches and 9 strike outs under his belt. Then the mistake happened.
New manager, Alex Cora, pulled Sale after 6 solid innings of work and turned the game over to the bullpen. Like I stated earlier, Sale had just over 90 pitches, close to the end of the line, but could have gone either way. Matt Barnes had a clean 7th inning paving the way for Joe Kelly and Carson Smith to puke all over themselves and allow a combined 6 runs in the 8th. That was it for the Sox as the lost 6-4 down in that dumpster of a stadium in Tampa.
I know it’s all in retrospective right now but I would’ve allowed Sale to pitch the 7th inning if I was in Cora’s shoes. Yes, I wrote the article before the season about monitoring Sale’s pitches per game but not this drastically! He’d not even hit the 100 pitch mark, to me that’s the limit you should cut him at this early, let him get through the 7th or at least start the 7th!
I see what Cora was trying to do and his head was in the right place, it’s just he pulled the trigger a little to early. Which i would rather, than pulling it to late. It showed that Cora isn’t afraid of Sale and that’s exactly what we need through this year! It was a learning experience and it’s only game 1. Let’s not burn Fenway to the ground yet. Joe Kelly will be fine, Carson Smith will be fine, don’t worry. Both guys will evolve into huge parts of our bullpen, which is drastically overlooked. I know hard to say that after last night but it’s true! Keep the faith Sox nation! Games like last night happen, it’s ok we’re fine!
-Kevin Perdios (@Perdios95)