Chris Sale pitched pretty well in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, but he ultimately took the loss as the Boston Red Sox were pushed to the brink of elimination.
The veteran left-hander pitched five 1/3 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Astros won 9-1 at Fenway Park, sending the series back to Minute Maid Park in Houston for Friday night's Game 6.
"I was good for five (innings) and then I sucked for one," Sale told reporters in his postgame press conference.
Could we see Sale back on the mound at some point in this series? He was pretty emphatic in his answer Wednesday night.
“I’ll pitch tomorrow if I have to,” Sale said. “I got nothing else going on for the next six months. It’s all hands on deck. It doesn’t matter what we — everyone is available to play in any position. It doesn’t matter.”
Sale isn't likely to start another game in this series. Nathan Eovaldi will start Game 6 and Eduardo Rodriguez is the safest option for Game 7, if necessary. Red Sox manager Alex Cora has not yet named a starter for either matchup, as of this writing.
Coming out of the bullpen certainly is an option for Sale, especially if the Red Sox need a lefty to face a couple Astros hitters. Sale does have some experience in relief roles during the postseason, most notably the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2018 World Series when the Red Sox clinched a championship.
Despite facing elimination entering Game 6, Sale is confident in his team's ability to bounce back and win the series.
"Yeah, it's tough. W came back to Boston exactly where we wanted to be. You know, we were 1-1," Sale said. "Even took the lead in that Game 1. Just kind of pissed two games away. That's tough any way you cut it. Doesn't matter. You got to take at least one of those.
"Not in a good spot going back to Houston. There's no denying that, but this team has won two games in the playoffs back-to-back before, and we think we can do it again."