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Red Sox 3, Cardinals 4: The Only Thing That Mattered About Tonight Was Chris Sale


St. Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

I know. I know.

I know everyone wants to talk about the bizarre ninth inning violations . . . or about Kenley Jansen’s general lack of control. . . or about Kiké Hernandez’s obvious inability to play shortstop at a big league level.

I know!

And yes, three pitch clock violations is a lot, and weird, and at least one of them didn’t seem to make sense in the moment. (Although, really now, take a look at the picture on the left and tell me that what Jansen is doing is legal. You can’t. That’s always been a quick pitch, regardless of the pitch clock.)

And I get that it’s concerning that Jansen’s velocity was down. And I get that it’s more than concerning that, six months after losing a homegrown HOF-caliber shortstop, the Red Sox still don’t have anyone to play the position. And I get that, sure, it’s possible that the Red Sox miss out on a postseason spot by one game, and we end up thinking back on tonight with remorse. And I get that it’s cathartic to do all of these things! Especially online, where venting our anger gives us extra shots of digital dopamine.

But I promise you this: when the story of the 2023 Red Sox is written, there’s only thing about tonight that will actually matter. And it is this:

Tonight, Chris Sale had — BY FAR — the best outing of any 2023 Red Sox starter. Tonight, Chris Sale definitively proved that he is still capable of being one of the most dominant pitching forces in baseball tonight. Tonight, Chris Sale was a goddamn ace.

Coming into this season, the Red Sox were bundle of bundle of question marks. And the biggest question mark of all was the lanky lefty whom we haven’t really seen for a couple of seasons, but who just happens to be one of the most talented pitchers to ever play the game. Great teams are made up of great players, and Chris Sale is capable of being greater than anyone else on the entire Red Sox roster.

Tonight, that’s exactly what he was. And if he can keep being that for the rest of the season, then good things will probably happen for the Red Sox.

Sure, it sucks to lose. Sure, it sucks to lose in such a weird way. And sure, it sucks to lose to a team with one of the worst records in baseball (though, let’s be honest, the Cardinals are better than their record reflects.) But weird losses to bad teams happen a lot in baseball. And if tonight matters at all when this season is over, the thing that will matter will be that this was the night that Chris Sale loudly and swaggeringly reasserted his greatness.

Three Studs

  1. The Guy I Literally Just Said Is The Only Player Who Mattered Tonight: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 ER
  2. Rob Refsnyder: 3-4, 2B, SB, 2 RBI
  3. Pablo Reyes (!): 2-4, 2B, R

Three Duds

  1. Kenley Jansen: 1 IP, 1H, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 R, BS
  2. Kiké Hernandez: 1-3, E
  3. Jarren Duran: 0-4

Play of the Game

Even after his rocky start to the 9th, Kenley Jansen induced a groundball that maybe could’ve ended the game. I say ‘maybe’ because it was softly hit by a hitter who could run and, even with an outstanding turn and throw, it would’ve been close at first. But we didn’t get an outstanding turn and throw. We got Kiké bouncing it 10 feet in front of the bag and Justin Turner making a poor scoop attempt. Not only did the tying run score, but the winning run did, too.


Who was the Red Sox player of the game?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Chris Sale
    (91 votes)
  • 3%
    Rob Refsnyder
    (6 votes)
  • 48%
    Chris F’n Sale
    (93 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now