Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale tests positive for COVID-19, to miss Sunday start

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale tests positive for COVID-19, to miss Sunday start
Aug 26, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have seen their ace Chris Sale come off Tommy John surgery and return in elite form, but will unfortunately be without him for the time being.

As reported by Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, Sale is going to miss his start on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox after testing positive for COVID-19:

A seven-time All-Star and two-time American League strikeout leader, Sale also pitched an immaculate inning on August 26. He’s clearly in great shape, but the hope is his COVID-induced setback won’t linger for too long.

Unfortunately, as of last week, Boston remained among six MLB clubs with a vaccination rate of less than 85% for their “Tier 1 personnel”, which has led to multiple cases, with Sale’s being just the latest. On Tuesday, it was reported that over 10 Red Sox players were on the COVID-19 injured list.

Whether or not players want to view the issue of vaccination through a political lens is their prerogative. The reality is, the race for two AL Wild Card spots is extremely tight. Entering Friday’s MLB action, only three games separates the five teams in the hunt for those two postseason berths.

As the MLB playoff picture comes into clearer focus, every single win will matter even more. Losing someone like Sale for even one start, if not two, could prove costly, because he gives the Red Sox an excellent chance to claim victory whenever he steps onto the mound.

Sale is 3-0 in five starts this year with a 2.52 ERA. The southpaw shook off a rough 2019 campaign, and the aforementioned surgery that kept him out all of last season. Now, his inspiring comeback is being derailed.

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