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Red Sox 8, Reds 2: Chris Sale Goes Down, The Red Sox Don’t

A Pyrrhic victory for the Sox

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Life so rarely gives you exactly what you want.

Summer finally made it to Fenway tonight, a steamy day giving way to a perfect evening at the ballpark.

On the mound were Hunter Greene for the Reds and Chris Sale for the Red Sox, one of the best young pitchers in the game against one of the best pitchers of his generation. The stands were packed, the air was buzzing, and it was the perfect setting for one of those memorable Fenway nights. Maybe it would start with a pitcher’s duel, two fireballers at opposite points of the career spectrum one-upping each other inning after inning. Maybe it would end with some late-game fireworks from unlikely heroes. Maybe we’d get exactly what we want.

Well, we got what we wanted at the start:

And then we got what we wanted at the end, with an offensive explosion from Kiké Hernandez, Rafael Devers, and Connor Wong, among others:

But life so rarely gives you exactly what you want, which brings us to the fourth inning of tonight’s game.

After Chris Sale surrendered back-to-back doubles in back-to-back innings, Alex Cora made a medical visit to the mound. Then, one pitch later, he made another. It was a curious situation. Noting outwardly appeared to have happened to Sale, but his velocity was suddenly and noticeably down. Cora hastily called on Justin Garza to finish the frame, and a couple of innings later, the update we all feared finally came: Sale was removed from the game due to left shoulder soreness.

It was wonderful to see the bats wake up, and wonderful to see the Sox avoid falling to .500 with the mighty Rays coming to town this weekend. But nevertheless, it must be said: the most important thing we saw tonight was Chris Sale walking to the dugout with the trainer. This team, as currently constructed, depends on Chris Sale. Without him, they simply don’t have the starting pitching to seriously compete.

So now we wait. Shoulder soreness doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be gone for months — sometimes I get shoulder soreness for a week after sleeping on it awkwardly! But with his recent injury history, it sure is worrisome.

Maybe life will give us exactly what we want tomorrow.

Three Studs

  1. Kiké Hernandez: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI
  2. Rafael Devers: 2-3, 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R
  3. Connor Wong: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI

Three Duds

  1. Chris Martin: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, BS
  2. Triston Casas: 0-4
  3. Alex Verdugo: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 R . . . and he also had the defensive play of the game. This is a tough-luck dud!

Play Of The Game

Had the game stayed tight, I would’ve been tempted to give it to Dugie’s throw. But since the 8th inning explosion is what carried the Sox to the victory, I think we should probably give it to Devers’ go-ahead double. But. . . since I already showed you Devers’ double above, let’s go with Kiké Hernandez’s homer, which also gave the Sox the lead, if only briefly:


Who was the Red Sox Player Of The Game?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Kiké Hernandez
    (32 votes)
  • 23%
    Rafael Devers
    (23 votes)
  • 12%
    Connor Wong
    (12 votes)
  • 31%
    Nick Pivetta, Lockdown Reliever
    (31 votes)
98 votes total Vote Now