Since Dave Dombrowski packaged Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech and sent them to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Sale we have waited for this day. Well, our patience has paid off as the Sale will make his regular season Red Sox debut tonight, as Boston takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park.
In case you need any more reason to be hyped, we’re talking about a 28-year-old lefty who has posted a career ERA of 3.00, FIP of 3.06, finished in the top five of Cy Young voting in each of the last four years and has struck out an average of 10.1 batters per nine innings during seven years at the MLB level.
Opposing Sale will be a young hurler who the Pirates are hoping will become a regular at the top of their rotation for years to come. Jameson Taillon started in 18 games last year, his first in the bigs, and pitched to a 3.38 ERA, 124 ERA+ and 3.71 FIP while striking out 7.4 batters per nine innings.
But today isn’t about the Pirates rebuilding. It’s about Sale. Just like this whole offseason has been, aside from slim Pablo Sandoval pictures and Andrew Benintendi hype. Speaking of, Benintendi hit a three-run home run in the season opener and will once again be batting out of the two hole. You may notice that Mookie Betts is absent tonight, but there’s not reason for major concern, as he was scratched with the flu that has been slowly taking over the Red Sox clubhouse. Xander Bogaerts will take Betts’ No. 3 spot, while Chris Young will play right field and bat sixth.
|1||Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Jordy Mercer, SS|
|2||Andrew Benintendi, LF||Starling Marte, CF|
|3||Xander Bogaerts, SS||Andrew McCutchen, RF|
|4||Hanley Ramirez, DH||Gregory Polanco, LF|
|5||Mitch Moreland, 1B||David Freese, 3B|
|6||Chris Young, RF||Francisco Cervelli, C|
|7||Jackie Bradley, CF||Josh Harrison, 2B|
|8||Pablo Sandoval, 3B||Josh Bell, 1B|
|9||Sandy Leon, C||Adam Frazier, DH|
|SP||Chris Sale||James Taillon|
It’s unfortunate that Betts is out, but remember, Chris Sale. Chris. Bleeping. Sale. Let’s go.