home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 12, 2018

Chris Sale

Boston, Massachusetts - Workout Day

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale.

Q. Can you talk about pitching in the playoffs and any added pressure on your shoulders and how do you handle it?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, obviously these are the biggest games of the year. We fought long and hard to get here, so at the end of the day you've got to look at it as the same game. It's still the same process. You've got to score more runs than the other team and try to give up less.

So we know where we're at, but at the same time we try to take it at ease and play our game.

Q. How did you feel coming out of that bullpen stint that you had the other night? And also what did that series maybe do for you guys as a team to get you ready for this?
CHRIS SALE: That was a big series. Obviously the Yankees are a good team. And we played them tough and they played us tough at times throughout the year. And I think just going into Yankee Stadium and taking those two games from them, one being a blowout and the other one just kind of being a gritty game. With C.C. on the mound, we know what he's done throughout his career and the postseason. I think that gives us a bigger boost going into the series.

Q. You're talking about same game, same process. And yesterday Alex was talking about the concept of clutch and what it means for these bigger games. You've been through a couple of these Game 1 starts now. What have you learned about yourself and how to make sure that the moment doesn't start to become big around you and that you stay to that process?
CHRIS SALE: I think it's just staying locked in, not trying to play above your playing grade, I guess, not reaching for more. I think we were 108-win team for a reason and that's because everyone did what they needed to do throughout the year to get those wins and guys stepped up.

I think it's just more of the same -- not trying to do more in these situations where the lights are brighter, the crowds are louder. We don't need more, we just need the same. And we need to keep doing what we've been doing the whole year because what we've been doing the whole year has been really good.

Q. When you guys were in the AL Central together, did you watch Verlander a lot closer when you guys played the Tigers? And did you have any matchups? Do you get more fired up facing a guy like that?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, I've always said, I'm not really worried about the pitcher I'm facing. I'm not facing him. I don't have to hit off of him. We know who we're up against. He's obviously one of the best around, and -- really good in the postseason. Like I said, you just strap it on the same way and go out there and fight until the end.

Q. These guys, they ambushed you pretty good in the first game last year. How much did you learn from that, and is that kind of a motivating factor for you at all going into tomorrow?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, this is a rematch of last year. Obviously the winner of this one goes to the World Series. So like I've been saying the whole time, just keep playing the same game -- not trying to reach for more, not trying to be better than I am. We shouldn't play as a team like that either.

We need to, like I said, just keep doing what we've been doing, putting our heads down, playing hard, working hard and in the end it will fall how it falls and hopefully we'll be on top.

Q. Obviously they're very careful with you down the stretch. Is it to a point now where there's no limits you can go, however long you can go within the context of the game?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, no doubt. I think we're at the point now where there's no holding back. There's no limitations.

Like I said before, it's all hands on deck. We're here to win. We've got to do whatever it takes to get there. I think you can ask anybody in that clubhouse or on that coaching staff, they'll do about anything it takes to get there. Whether it's this or that, doesn't matter, I think everybody's prepared to do whatever it takes to get to that level.

Q. I'm sure there was a degree of uncertainty, you went a long time without pitching, about two months. Now that you're here and you've had a couple of playoff games, does it feel like you guys did the right thing and from a physical standpoint you're as good as it can be at this point?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, I've had faith and trust in the coaching staff, my teammates, my doctors here. We're at a point now where we can kind of let it go and just get back to pitching. And I think that process, leading up to that was a big part of that.

So, yeah, I definitely agree with that. I think we had to do what we had to do during the season to get here now. And I'm very thankful for a lot of people for that.

Q. Can you talk about David's start in Game 2 and overall his struggles in the playoffs and how much confidence you guys have in him in Game 2?
CHRIS SALE: The last thing you said there, we still have the confidence in him. We know who he is. He's been one of the best left-handed pitchers in this game for 10 years. Game 2 is behind us. We won that series. So that doesn't matter. We're facing the Houston Astros now.

I like his matchup against the Astros obviously. He's pitched well against them the last couple of years. And he was the only reason we had a chance last year in the playoffs against Houston. So I like where we're at.

Q. You enjoy this series more in the sense it's more traditional series where the starters do great starting rotations rather than bullpening and that sort of thing?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, I think that's more of a -- I think it's just better for the game. It's kind of one of those things where you have this starter versus this start against these lineups.

Obviously we both have very good bullpens and big arms on either side. But this is more, I guess, the traditional way to play the game, and the way I like to play the game better anyways.

Q. During the season, Alex Cora, some of the players talked about how Alex communicates with the players, not only talking about baseball, also about personal life. How important in this time of the season does that kind of communication, more relaxed?
CHRIS SALE: I think it's huge. I think that's kind of been the difference maker is the overall sense of just relaxation, no real panic at any time of the year. When he gives guys days off, they get the day off. There's no get the day off and, oh, panic, this kind of thing.

He trusts in the process, and he trusts everybody that he has on his team. He trusts in his coaches or his trainers and every player on the roster. So I think being able to see him in those situations at ease makes us feel more confident about ourselves, because he's the one running this whole thing. And if he's not worried about it, then why should we?

I think that makes us play the game that we need to play and play a little bit more loose, which is, in the end, the right way to go about it.

Q. You looked at their lineup, can you run down the challenges they offer -- Bregman, Correa, Springer, Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez, if you would run through that a minute?
CHRIS SALE: Like I said, we know who we're up against. They've got some good arms. They have a good lineup. They wouldn't be here if they didn't.

They've got guys who can put the ball in the seats at any time and you just try to break that down, try not to give up that big inning or that big hit.

On the flipside, I like the guys that I have in my corner, too. So I think on both sides of the ball we're looking at challenges, but we also have a challenge for them, too.

Q. Let me read you what A.J. said. He said, "He's incredible. He has weapons that are sort of beyond human nature. His spin on his breaking ball is ridiculous. Doesn't matter whether you're left-handed or right-handed; it's uncomfortable." What do you think of that from A.J. about you?
CHRIS SALE: Oh, I appreciate it. (Laughter) I don't know. I guess you gotta ask him. It's nice. But it doesn't change what I have to do or what I'm going to do. Play to win. That's it.

Q. Being so tall, is it tough pitching to somebody so small as Altuve?
CHRIS SALE: No. I think the way he swings the bat makes it tough to pitch to him. He's as good as it gets. Obviously he proved that last year being MVP of the league. Pitch him the same way as you pitch everyone else. And, like I said, just try to keep the ball in the yard and try to get quick outs.

Q. You guys, I think, have never let the moment get too big this year. And when it has you've responded and you seem like you guys have had fun in big moments. Do you agree with that? And how are you going to do that in the playoffs? Are you confident that you will do that in the playoffs?
CHRIS SALE: Absolutely. Obviously you work the entire year to get here, and the entire year preps you for this. Obviously throughout the year you're going to come into big situations or late innings or big games or big moments. And I think, like you said, we've responded really well.

We've been down by a lot and came back. And we played close games and lost and responded well the next day. All those things get you prepared for these moments. And like I've said we have an unbelievable leader in Alex Cora keeping us in the right direction, keeping us going down the right path.

And I think all those things combined are going to get us where we need to go.

Q. We just had Mookie and J.D. in here. If you were an MVP voter, who would you vote for MVP in the American League?
CHRIS SALE: I think I'd just flip a coin or tell them Rock-Paper-Scissors. I don't know. (Laughter) they both bring something to the game that it just separates them both from everyone else. It's hard to deny 130 RBIs, .330 and 40-something. Then you throw Mookie in the mix. He's a 30-30 guy; Golden Glove defense; hit, what, close to .350. I say just flip a coin or give it to them both.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297