Chris Sale says his arm feels great, despite 5-8 record
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com July 7, 2013 7:18PM
Updated: July 7, 2013 9:24PM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Left-hander Chris Sale hasn’t won a game since May 17. And to think his left arm never has felt better.
Sale hasn’t won in six starts
because of poor run support, but let’s be clear: He is pitching like an All-Star — he’ll go to his second consecutive All-Star Game with a 5-8 record — and he’s throwing hard and feeling loose.
Sale touched 97 mph and averaged 95 mph with his fastball Saturday, an average he has maintained over his last five starts. Against the New York Mets on June 25, his fastball touched 98.7 mph and averaged 97 mph. By comparison, his fastball averaged 95 mph in a game only four times last season, when he went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA.
‘‘My worst stretch, and it’s the best my arm has ever felt,’’ Sale said Sunday. ‘‘That goes to show you how crazy sports is. But,
yeah, my arm has felt kind of the best it ever has in this last month-and-a-half stretch.’’
It’s Sale’s worst stretch, as he puts it, only because the Sox have averaged 1.6 runs during his six-game losing streak. His ERA is 3.10 during the streak and 2.78 overall, which ranks fourth in the American League.
Since skipping a start in May
because of tightness in his left shoulder, Sale never has felt better.
‘‘Yeah, I’m loose,’’ he said. ‘‘The sun’s out and it’s warm, so I like that a heck of a lot better. [The missed start] was something that was very minor. We took the right precautions in getting an extra week of rest. Not only that, but we did some work to help strengthen it and give it a rest and reboot for the rest of the season.’’