By Andrew Carter
Oct 15, 2021, HOUSTON — Red Sox starter Chris Sale is set to kick off the ALCS against the Houston Astros after receiving the Game 1 start from manager Alex Cora.
Sale’s only prior start this postseason came in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Tampa Rays. He only lasted one inning, giving up four hits and five runs through thirty pitches. He struck out two batters and walked one.
“I’ve been horrible. Probably my worst two starts of my career back-to-back leading up to this,” Sale said after Game 2. His last start prior to Game 2 was a game against the Washington Nationals, in which he gave up two runs in 2.1 innings. In nine regular season starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Sale owned a 3.19 ERA and an average strikeout rate of 5.7 a game.
“Everybody has to be a part of this,” manager Alex Cora said. “We feel comfortable with Chris with the rest he’s got.” Sale last pitched on October 8.
Sale will toe the rubber opposite of Houston southpaw Framber Valdez. In his last start against Boston, Valdez threw 7.1 innings of one-run ball at Fenway Park to go along with eight strikeouts. First pitch at Minute Maid Park is scheduled for 8:07 P.M. EST.