Red Sox

Chris Sale calms fears with strong start (8 Ks in 5.1 innings), first postseason win

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If you polled Red Sox Nation what their biggest worry was before Game 1 of the AL Division Series, the health and effectiveness of ace Chris Sale would have been the runaway winner.

If Sale came out against the Yankees and wasn't effective, there's no way the Red Sox would be able to mount a strong postseason run. They had to have their ace, or at least a reasonable facsimile of him.

After his performance Friday, consider those fears alleviated (we'll get to the bullpen ... the new runaway leader).

Sale might not have had his best stuff in the eventual 5-4 victory over the Yankees, but we now know this: Sale has enough to shut down baseball's best lineups.

"I thought he was good," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. "You know, not