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October 22, 2018

Chris Sale

Boston, Massachusetts - Workout Day

Q. Talk about your health and how much are you looking forward to starting Game 1 at the World Series.
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, I mean like I said many times before, that's what we sign up for. This is what we prepare for all year, a chance to win a championship and that's where we're at right now. We're all excited, ready to go.

Q. If you can remember back to the very first time you ever pitched at Fenway Park when you were with the White Sox, what is so different when you're at this park when you're pitching? Clayton Kershaw has never pitched here before.
CHRIS SALE: It's a lot better wearing the white uniforms. It's not an easy place to play as a visitor. I'll always enjoyed playing here and obviously it's an iconic park. But it's a lot more fun pitching as a home pitcher.

Q. I meant more the nooks and crannies, the angles, all that stuff.
CHRIS SALE: This ballpark definitely brings its challenges in terms of it's different. It's not your standard wall out in center field, just kind of a half oval. We have, like you said, nooks and crannies and some sharp edges and some different things going on out there. I could definitely see how this could raise some challenges for a team that doesn't play here a lot.

Q. We're seeing a lot of teams this postseason that have had to kind of piece things together and use the bullpens a lot. Really when it comes down to this World Series, still looks more traditional, the pitchers going deep into games. The fact that the starting pitchers, including yourself can really impact the outcome of games and see some length, what does that mean to you, this deep into October to bring that to the team?
CHRIS SALE: That's our plan from the start. As a starting pitcher your job is, to, A, answer the phone when it calls, and go out there as long as you can. I think that's been our mindset since day one. And it doesn't change when we get to the postseason. I think the longer you can keep a starter in the game, the more fresh your bullpen is going to be down the stretch. And we, like many other teams, have used our bullpen and utilized them a lot, and they've done very well this postseason for us in pressure situations, pitching two, three days in a row, day off, pitch, day off, pitch, that kind of thing.

So if we can give them as much rest as possible, it's going to benefit the team as a whole.

Q. Your manager used the words "likable" and "humble" talking about this team. There's a lot of big-name, big-money, big-résumé guys on this team. Why is that the case?
CHRIS SALE: I think it's the guys we have. It's kind of the culture, the tone that AC set, as well. We like to have fun, and we have our moments where we show our excitement and attitude, but as a whole we have a lot of guys that just play the game the right way. Guys that show up, work hard, play hard, then we go home. There's not a whole lot of other things that we're looking to get out of this other than winning. I think when you have an entire group of players, coaching staff that's just committed and dedicated to winning and that's No. 1, 2 and 3 on the depth chart, I think that's a result of that.

Q. The anger between the Red Sox and Machado last year after the slide into Pedroia, your pitch behind him, him calling it coward stuff, how much does that linger?
CHRIS SALE: Not at all. We have bigger things to worry about now on both sides, on their side and on our side. We're dedicated to winning this World Series and bringing a championship to our city. We're not worried about any individual player. We've got one thing in mind and that's winning.

Q. Did his actions against Milwaukee reinforce any of your views about him?
CHRIS SALE: That's not my team. Like I said, we've got one thing on our mind and that's winning the World Series.

Q. On the subject of pitching at Fenway Park. How much are you looking forward to the atmosphere tomorrow night?
CHRIS SALE: I think it's going to be rocking. This place is going to be obviously going crazy. We have very passionate fans. It's going to be fun. I think we've all been waiting for this. And our fans, too. Our fans have been there the whole year, just like we've been grinding the whole year, and they've been showing up for us and I think they're just as excited as we are. I don't doubt this place is not going to be getting up and going tomorrow night.

Q. Had there been a Game 6 in the ALCS, could you have pitched? How much better do you feel now having had some days off and a chance to recover?
CHRIS SALE: Yeah, I was lined up for Game 6. Obviously DP and Devers and everybody else had a different way of going about it.

Yeah, anytime that we can get some days off. Like I said our bullpen, too, everyone -- it's good to get some rest this time of year. Position players have been grinding day in and day out. And get a little bit of extra rest, get our feet underneath us and settle in and hit the ground running for this series is a good thing for everybody.

Q. Do you think you could have pitched, given how you felt at the time?
CHRIS SALE: I was going to pitch. Yeah, I was ready to go.

Q. It looks like you've been able to put weight on since we saw you in Houston.
CHRIS SALE: I was ready to go then, I'm ready to go now. And looking forward to it.

Q. I realize you were a 15-year-old kid back in '04, but the manager of the Dodgers is a pretty big hero in Boston. Stole a base, it led to the first World Series championship in 86 years for the Red Sox. I'm curious if you remember anything about that play, if you were watching, and if you think he's going to get a cheer tomorrow night when he's introduced?
CHRIS SALE: I obviously think he should. I've met him and talked with him a few times and what a great -- he's a great guy. He's obviously a great manager, getting to back-to-back World Series.

That's a very iconic play for this team and this city. Bringing the first World Series after a long time like that is a big deal, and I think our fans will do the right thing.

Q. Do you remember if you were watching?
CHRIS SALE: I was probably out running around doing something else at the time.

Q. Congratulations on making it to the World Series. Is there anything Alex Cora has told you about the Dodgers? Obviously he faced them last year. And what has Alex Cora meant to you this year?
CHRIS SALE: He's obviously running over scouting reports with everybody and little ins and outs.

But more than anything he's just brought consistency. He's the same guy in the first inning as he is in the ninth inning of a 10-1 ballgame or 3-3 ballgame. I think that's the overall thing as players that we take from him, or me personally, I don't want to speak for everyone else, it's just his composure, being the ninth inning, bases loaded, one out of a one-run ballgame, and he's sitting there eating seeds, doing the same thing as a 10-1 ballgame in the fourth inning. And I think that goes very well with us as players, when if he's not panicking, why should we? If he's calm, cool and collected, so should we. And I think that's kind of been the overall consensus throughout the years.

He's been a good leader and we've been able to feed off of his vibes, and he's had nothing but good vibes the whole year.

Q. A lot of people thought you were joking when you mentioned the belly button story, were you being serious about that?
CHRIS SALE: I'll leave that for you guys to debate (laughter).

Q. How many innings do you think you could go in Game 1?
CHRIS SALE: As many as we need. There's no holding back now, I think. My job's been the same since the first day I got here. You hand me the ball when you want me to throw it, and take it out of my hand when you want me to stop. That's what I'm going with.

Q. They always say that one of the big advantages you have about as a pitcher is your good deception. Clayton has good deception from the left side. Is that something you've always had with your delivery or something you've tried to accentuate?
CHRIS SALE: Obviously we want to do some things to throw off the hitter. Whether you try it or not, I think it's more something that comes naturally. But we work on mechanics. The most important thing is repeating your mechanics, and I think that's the one thing I've focused on more than anything throughout the years, is just being able to repeat it and do it consistently.

Q. Starting pitchers are reliant on their routines so much. Your past two months have been really been broken up for a number of different reasons. The last time out you said command was really an issue for you. I'm curious without that kind of routine, how much of it has been a scramble for you to get to where you need to be? And how confident do you think you can be that guy on the mound again?
CHRIS SALE: We haven't been scrambling, I'll tell you that. But having these extra few days has been nice to be able to get back on that routine, get a little more normalcy back into it. Getting my strength back, and like you said, getting back to my routine. Threw a bullpen yesterday. Leaned on Dana a little bit and got back to doing some things that made me successful in the past. And try to carry that forward into tomorrow.

Q. In the past two months, have you been a hundred percent or anywhere near there?
CHRIS SALE: If I'm standing on the mound, I'm a hundred percent.

Q. Brock Holt said if you win four more games, he's going to get a nipple and belly button ring. How does it feel to be a fashion trendsetter in the clubhouse?
CHRIS SALE: Hey, that's what I do. Fashionista, I guess.

Q. This is one of the marquee lefty-against-lefty matchups. What do you admire about Clayton Kershaw and what makes him such a tough opponent?
CHRIS SALE: I think if you just look at his résumé and what he's done. I've said it a lot, but consistency, that's the key to this game. And he's been as consistent as any starting pitcher in the game for the last decade. Obviously his trophy case is packed. And his résumé is on a lot of sheets of paper, but he's been able to stay consistent and stay at that dominant level for a long time. You see a lot of ups and downs with people, but he's been at the top for quite some time now and it's pretty impressive.

Q. Obviously a lot of different people have caught you in your career. Can you talk about what kind of sets Sandy apart.
CHRIS SALE: I think just throwing to him, it's easy. He's very level headed. He studies hard. He works hard. Obviously throwing out runners, he's good at that. And even just coming out for mound visits, there's never any panic. There's no sense of urgency. He's just coming out there either calming me down or going over a game plan. We're lucky to have who we have back there in Vasky and Sandy and even Swihy. They all work hard and expect to be better every time out. And for me personally, I rely on my catcher for basically everything, for scouting report, for pitch calling. And it's easier when you have guys like that back there that you can trust in and just kind of go out and follow their game plan and we'll be good to go.

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