Sale better, but not good enough: Chris Sale had, by far, his best fastball velocity of the season, hitting 94 mph with his first pitch, sitting often at 95-96 mph and at times hit as high as 98 mph on the gun. That's encouraging given Sale had previously not shown anywhere that much zip on his four-seamer. Sale and pitching coach DanaLeVangie made some tweaks to his mechanics and that was evident, as he had a quicker tempo overall, which might also be credited to the return of catcher Sandy Leon. His slider, too, was better. But Sale still missed location on a number of big pitches and that hurt him. In particular, he was at the top of the zone with his changeup on a pitch to Clint Frazier, resulting in a home run. Sale also was not very efficient, needing 71 pitches over his final three innings of work, which in turn limited him to just a five-inning stint. The improved velocity was further proof that it's not a physical issue with Sale, which is comforting for Red Sox fans. But again, this is about results and Sale's still not getting them four starts into the season.
Lineup punchless again: On Monday at home against the Orioles, the Red Sox managed just one run and four hits off an Orioles staff that wasn't good. Facing James Paxton and the Yankees, the Sox proceeded to do what seemed impossible -- they got worse with their offense.