The Boston Red Sox suffered a major blow during an eventual 13-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday when ace lefty Chris Sale was forced to exit his start with a broken finger. Sale suffered the injury in the bottom of the first when a line drive off the bat of Aaron Hicks struck him on the hand. The Red Sox later announced the injury as a left fifth finger fracture, or pinkie fracture.
Here’s a look at the play:
As you can see, Sale immediately walked off the field, and his left pinkie finger appeared to be misshapen. After the game Sale told reporters, including the Boston Globe, he thinks he’ll miss 4-6 weeks. He will see a hand specialist either later Sunday or Monday to determine a more exact timeframe for his recovery.
“I knew immediately,” Sale told the Boston Globe. “The feeling of cold water rushing through your body when something like that happens.”
This was just Sale’s second start of the 2022 season. He returned from a stress fracture in his rib cage, which he suffered late in spring training on July 12. On Sunday, Sale, who was replaced by Hirokazu Sawamura following the injury, allowed three runs (two earned) in just 2/3 of an inning. The outcome raised Sale’s ERA after two starts to 3.18. The 33-year-old is in the third year of a five-year, $145 million pact with Boston.
The struggling Red Sox, who came into Sunday’s rubber match having lost five of their last six and nine of their last 12, are already afflicted by injury problems in the rotation. At present, five starting pitchers — Rich Hill, Connor Seabold, Michael Wacha, Josh Winckowski and James Paxton — are on the IL for Boston. The injury to Sale will presumably hasten the front office’s effort to acquire rotation help leading up to the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but ownership’s commitment to investing in the roster has been lacking for some time.