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Chris Sale gets regular season-level upset at himself in spring training game

03.16.17 at 8:39 pm ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — First there was the play on the field, one which saw Chris Sale fail to get over to cover first base on a ground ball during his spring training outing Thursday night at JetBlue Park.

The result was the pitcher whacking himself in the head.

Then came the postgame, after his four-inning outing in which he allowed three runs on seven hits to the Pirates. After a few questions, and generic answers regarding the outing, along came the topic of the mental miscue.

The result of that was a tone not normally found in March 16 spring training analysis.

“That’s stupid,” he said. “That’s what we’re here for. We’ve done that 400,000 times since we’ve been here, covering first base. A ball hit over there, cover first base. That’s just a stupid mistake on my part. I’ve got to be better than that, even here. There’s no excuse for that, at all.”

As for Sale’s takeaway from the 74-pitch outing, it wasn’t great, but good enough.

“I got some work in today,” Sale said. “I got great defensive plays behind me, honestly. I’m just trying to get through it and get some good work in and stay on top of things.”

He added, “I didn’t feel sharp today. I felt great, just not sharp. I wasn’t able to locate when I needed to. The second inning, I got two great defensive plays behind me, and CY [Chris Young] there in the third inning. Those are huge even on days like today where you’re just trying to piece it together. Those are added confidence boosters that helped me get back to where I needed to be.”

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