Due to a stomach illness, Chris Sale likely won’t start until Game 6.
The last thing Boston Red Sox fans wanted to hear was that their ace Chris Sale was having health-related issues. But while the Red Sox were playing the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, Sale was in the hospital due to a stomach illness.
It’s been reported that it was nothing serious. Sale was able to catch up with the team in Houston in time for Game 3 on Tuesday, though he is still recovering from the illness. The initial plan was for him to get the start in Game 5 at Minute Maid Park, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora has apparently decided to give him an extra day.
That would mean that Sale would start Game 6 back at Fenway Park, should the series make it that far.
Luckily though, Game 5 won’t be a must-win situation for the Red Sox since they were able to get a win in Game 3. They played the Astros neck-and-neck for much of Game 3 on Tuesday, but then it was finally pushed out of reach in the eighth inning when Jackie Bradley Jr. belted a grand slam into the right-center field seats to put Boston on top 8-2.
The Game 3 victory guaranteed that the Red Sox can’t lose this series without at least making a return trip to Fenway Park. Since there won’t be any pressure put on the Sox in the remaining two games in Houston, it might just have worked out for the best that Sale will be available for the later games.
Should the Red Sox lose Games 4 and 5 and go back home trailing 3-2 in the series, then they will want Sale available for those must-win games at Fenway. Even though it’s unfortunate that Sale was in the hospital, it may have worked out better for the rotation this way.