Braves’ Chris Sale gets emotional on facing Red Sox for first time since trade

An emotional start approaches for Chris Sale

Chris Sale in a Braves uniform. Alex Cora

Chris Sale is set to face his former team on Wednesday when the Atlanta Braves host the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, and given that he won a World Series with Boston in 2018, it is understandably an emotional moment for the veteran starting pitcher.

“It’s not just baseball players playing baseball together,” Chris Sale said, via Mark Bowman of “I had great experiences with everyone there. I have a lot of love and respect for everyone over there. they were in my corner when I needed them most. I’ll always appreciate that and I’ll never take it for granted.”

Sale did great things with the Red Sox, winning the American League Cy Young two times in 2017 and 2018, and being the ace for the team when they won the World Series in 2018. He closed out the clinching game in 2018 over the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, Sale experienced some lows with the Red Sox following 2018.

The Red Sox signed Sale to an extension after that, and the following five seasons were not ideal. In 2019, Sale began to regress, pitching to a 4.40 ERA with the Red Sox in 25 starts, according to Baseball Reference, and that started the inkling that Sale might go through some injury issues. In 2020, Sale did not play for the Red Sox due to an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, which also kept him out for a good portion of the 2021 season. Sale started nine games in 2021, pitching to a 3.16 ERA. He pitched in just two games in 2022 due to multiple injuries, one being a rib injury and one being a finger injury. Then lastly, in 2023, Sale pitched in 20 games due to a shoulder injury, recording a 4.30 ERA.

Chris Sale’s season with the Braves so far in 2024

This season, Sale has pitched about as expected so far. He has started six games so far and posted a 3.44 ERA. As usual, the most important thing for Sale is health, and the Braves are depending on him to produce, mainly in the postseason. Given Sale’s injuries and work load in recent years, it would not be surprising to see Atlanta manage his innings this season.

It will be interesting to see how Sale does against the Red Sox on Wednesday. While it is going to be an emotional moment for him, it will not be as emotional as if this game was taking place at Fenway Park. He will have to wait for the 2025 season to make his return to Boston.

As for this season, it will be worth monitoring how Sale performs and holds up throughout the season. He became more important after Spencer Strider went down for the season with an elbow injury. Hopefully for the Braves, Sale continues to perform as he has to start 2024.

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