Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 28: Starting pitcher Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches at the top of the first inning of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on April 28, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Red Sox lefty Chris Sale, whose Sunday performance against the first-place Rays dropped him a winless 0-5 record and bumped his ERA up to a ghastly 6.30, knows he’s not telling you anything new when discussing his struggles.

But that didn’t mean he planned on holding back when criticizing his play.

“I’m sitting here like a broken record: what am I, six starts in? I’ve sucked every bit of every last one of them,” a frustrated Sale said after the loss. “I don’t want to sit here and say the same things over and over, but hopefully sooner rather than later. That’s for damn sure. This is a result-oriented game. No one cares about the hard work. No one cares about the effort.”

Sale’s latest effort — two earned runs, four hits, and eight strikeouts over seven innings — wasn’t horrible. But it’s tough for Sale to live on that alone right now, especially when hitters continue to absolutely wreck his fastball (batters are hitting .425 on Sale’s fastball this season, according to ESPN’s SportsCenter), and put the Red Sox in an early hole like it did on Sunday.

There’s also the fact that Sale and the Sox have little room for error right now, as Sunday’s loss dropped them to 11-17 on the year, and puts them 7.5 games back the Rays for first place in the American League East.

With May around the corner, things are going to get start getting real for Sale and the Red Sox real, real soon.

“We’ve gotta start winning games,” Sale admitted. “I appreciate the effort. I appreciate the hard work, and I know on the other end of that comes success, but we’ve got to find a way. We’ve got to keep grinding and doing what we’re doing.

“Just hope the other end of it changes, because we’re doing everything we’ve got to do. It’s just not there right now. But we’ll get there. We will get there.”