By David Little – @DLittleMLB
Quick recap on the rhetoric right now; Is it Sale? Pomeranz has been pitching well? Where does Fister sit? Is David Price coming back? We hear a ton of talk as playoffs slowly approach. Pitching talk dominates the scene, as we rest our hopes on our guys to limit runs, because as the old adage goes, pitching wins. So if we want to win, which obviously we do, is it any question that we start Chris Sale?
Again, I get the hot takes as it creates talk and interest, but I choose to deal in blunt honesty and realism rather then what gives me views. You can be assured that everything I write is my opinion, and sometimes that is a “hot take”, but the goal is to provide you with what I view as the reality. This is another example. Pomeranz, although he has had a renaissance and has had all of us pulling back our Espinoza trade hate, should not be our game 1 starter.
We will start with the obvious. Chris Sale is one of, if not the most, feared pitcher in the game right now, and that lends itself to a couple of factors. First, playoffs can be largely a mental game, and having the fear of Sale can possible play itself way up. Second, it’s mental for Sale, and he’s our ace and you need too, if only for his mentality, keep him in that role. It’s important to put your trust in guys as it boosts their confidence. Look at what moving a guy down in the order can do negatively to him. Now think of it in the same way for out starter. The “Ace” is the guy you play, and he needs to mentally think of himself as the “ace”, the same way a boxer needs to fear no man and comes off as cocky. Honestly, if we were in a crucial game, would you rather have a confident Sale or Pomeranz in the start? For me, that’s an easy answer. Then long term, who do you put your faith in? Who do you try and protect the moral of more? Because who you make your game one starter will impact both of those questions. And where you place your man can have a far reaching impact.
I’m not going to dive into the stats and analytics here, because I’m pretty sure they back me up, but Sale should be our guy. Pomeranz as our number two is a great start for us, and we need some simple magic from the rest. If that happens, this team can go far. We may not match up with the Indians and however the hot team is of the week, but as we all know, playoff baseball is a crap shoot at the best of times. So we need to trust our guts sometimes. And my gut believes in Chris Sale. Today, tomorrow, and in our future.