The Boston Red Sox announced Sunday that starting pitcher Chris Sale was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital because of a stomach virus, and he'll stay there overnight to be checked on.
This comes a day after Sale pitched in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Sale pitched four innings and struck out five batters and allowed just two earned runs. The Red Sox pulled Sale as his pitch got got higher.
Sale had been placed on the DL earlier in the offseason due to shoulder inflammation, and observers noted the declining velocity in his pitches on Saturday. It's unknown what the stomach condition is and if it'll force sale to miss his scheduled Game 5 start.
#RedSox LHP Chris Sale reported a stomach illness today and was admitted to MGH for observation this afternoon. He will be kept overnight for evaluation and any further updates will be released when available.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 15, 2018
Sale has appeared in three postseason games this year, tossing 14 strikeouts and allowing just four earned runs in 10.1 innings pitched. The Red Sox have tremendous depth in the rotation and bullpen, so if Sale has to miss a start, the likes of Eduardo Rodriguez, David Price and Rick Porcello can fill the void. Relievers Steven Wright and Joe Kelly also has starting pitching experience.
The Red Sox and Astros split the first two games at Fenway Park, and the series goes back to Houston for the next three contests. Game 5 - Sale's next scheduled start - takes place Thursday at 8:09 p.m. EST.
Sale went 12-4 during the regular season with 237 strikeouts in 158 innings pitched, while sporting an impressive ERA of 2.11. Had Sale not missed a handful of starts with the aforementioned shoulder inflammation, he would have had a better chance at winning the AL Cy Young Award.
Though the Red Sox won Sunday, the immediate concern is Sale's long-term health. If they're to win their fourth World Championship of the 21st century, the team simply needs him to be healthy.