Chris Sale

The defending champion Boston Red Sox were not even a half inning into their Opening Day game against the Seattle Mariners before ace pitcher Chris Sale made history.

The recently-extended Sale struck out Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger to open the bottom of the first in Seattle. In doing so, he made some Major League Baseball history.

If you remember, Sale struck out then-Dodgers infielder Manny Machado to end Game 5 of the World Series last season — clinching the title for Boston in the process.

This seems like some obscure stat. It might be. But it also just goes to show us how darn good Sale is and how important he remains to Boston’s success.

Sale came into Game 5 of the World Series in the ninth inning with his Sox up 5-1. He proceeded to strikeout the side as Boston took home the trophy.

If the start of the 2019 season is any indication, Sale will once again be a prominent figure once fall comes calling.