GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Some sort of stomach bug might have sapped a little bit of Chris Sale's spirit on Monday, but it was hard to tell anything was amiss in his starting effort against the Reds. The left-hander turned in far and away his best effort of the spring by allowing two hits over six scoreless innings and striking out six.
Sale stayed under control on the mound, which contributed to his success.
"I was out there not trying to throw the nastiest breaking ball I've ever thrown or throwing 100 miles per hour on every pitch," Sale said. "Just trying to make pitches instead of trying to do something I'm not capable of doing. My offspeed stuff is what helped me, throwing it for strikes and behind in the count."
The stellar effort came after Sale had what he described as a horrible bullpen session, but he also received some important words of encouragement from pitching coach Don Cooper.
"He was like, 'Hey listen. This is a process. The greatest pitchers in the game don't become great overnight,'" Sale said of Cooper's message. "'It's a process. Every time you are out there you are getting better. Don't get so frustrated with yourself.'"