BOSTON -- No-nonsense might be the most concise summation of Chris Sale.
Speaking on WEEI on Wednesday in a rare between-starts interview, he emphasized the importance of the bottom line.
“The biggest thing is accountability. Nobody likes excuses,” Sale said in an appearance supporting the Jimmy Fund Radiothon. “If you suck, you sucked. If you did good, you did good. There’s no reason to make excuses on failure or success. This is a pretty black-and-white game. You either got it, or you didn’t get it done. It doesn’t matter if two guys on the team did good on a losing day. You still lost the game. It doesn’t matter if two guys did really bad on a winning day. You still won the game. I think the more you can focus on the important things, and not so much the little things going on, that’s been my mindset. If we win, I’m good. It doesn’t matter if I give up seven or one. if we win the game, that’s the objective.”
Accountability in rough times is something the Red Sox haven’t always put forth publicly this year. Lately, however, they’ve done far more winning than losing, with wins in 11 of 13 games entering Wednesday night’s game with the Cardinals at Fenway Park.
Sale could be challenged on this point, however: If he gives up seven runs, he’s surely going to be considering what went wrong and how it can be fixed the next time around.
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry’s been reborn because of the two teams’ successes this year, but Sale’s words Wednesday could add a little lighter fluid.
“You can feel it,” Sale said of the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium, where he pitched Sunday. “People in New York have never been really nice to me, but they hate me now. I heard some pretty interesting things out in the bullpen last time warming up . . . I don’t go to New York to make friends.”
-- Sunday night’s starter hasn’t been announced yet. Rick Porcello could pitch on regular rest, or Doug Fister could go on an extra day’s rest. With the Yankees in town, it seems logical for the Sox to hand the ball off to the more reliable Porcello.