Chris Sale identified minor mechanical flaws in the initial phase of his delivery on Tuesday. The rookie left-hander has tweaked things before with favorable results, so his outlook was both optimistic and realistic.
“This game can speed up on you in a hurry and make you think a lot of bad things,” said Sale, who gave up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee in the Sox’ 6-2 win against the Orioles on Monday.
Pitching coach Don Cooper, bullpen coach Juan Nieves and Sale studied tape and “saw some things that were different from last year and early on this year. I’m going to do everything I can to get back to where I was and where I need to be.”
“Eventually things will turn around.”
Sale’s ERA is 7.15 and lefties are 5-for-16 against him. All eyes are on him to see how he deals with adversity.
“Real adversity,” Sale emphasized. “Yeah, but I’m surrounded by unbelievable guys in this clubhouse who are constantly picking me up, talking with me and helping me out, giving me their viewpoints. We have a great group of guys here and I’m looking forward to keep working with these guys and getting better. It will be there, but it’s going to take some time. I have to work on it. I’m anxious to get back out there and get back to where I need to be.”
The Twins led the Sox and starter Edwin Jackson 1-0 through five innings Tuesday. Jackson’s only mistake in the first five innings was a 1-2 slider that was up in the strike zone to Jason Kubel. Kuble hit it over the right-field fence for a home run.
Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, who entered with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA, did not allow a hit in the first seven innings.