If you were holding your breath waiting for the results of Chris Sale's first rehab start ... you can let it out now.
Sale toyed with the Durham Bulls, striking out 11 batters over four innings while allowing just one hit and two walks. Two out of three Bulls to reach base were lucky to do so -- Robby Price scored the only single on a nubber that Matt Davidson should have let roll foul, and Sale thought he had Jerry Sands struck out on a changeup that turned into the second walk.
Sale presented the Bulls an impossible mystery otherwise. Besides the swinging bunt single, Sale only allowed one other ball in play, and it was a groundout to third by the second batter of the game. That's another way to say he recorded the last 10 outs by strikeout.
Sale came out throwing 93-95 and touching 96 in the first inning, according to Baseball America's Josh Norris. I was going by ears alone until the MiLB.tv feed switched on in the second, and I saw Sale throwing 91-93 with a few 94's sprinkled in the rest of the way.
Coming in with a 75-pitch limit, he only used 68, including 43 strikes. I tracked the last 53 pitches he threw, and it was a healthy mix of all his offerings:
- Fastballs: 28
- Changeups: 15
- Sliders: 10
Because Sale had too many strikeouts to GIF, here are the last eight I saw:
Sale certainly didn't look like he needed another rehab stint this evening, but where the Sox go from here depends on how Sale feels the day or two after:
"Yeah, the next few days, in between starts, (it will be) how my arm and my body react to getting back out there and going full bore every pitch," he said. "Obviously we'll be communicating with (Sox general manager Rick Hahn and trainer Herm Schneider). Whatever they have for me, I'm game for."