David Price is quietly having his best season with the Red Sox.
After starting the season with two shutouts of Tampa Bay, four out of his next five starts were rocky, at best. But since May 3, when he gave up nine runs in 3.2 innings, Price has consistently gone out and delivered quality starts. After that game, his ERA was at a poor clip of 5.11. But he’s turned it around since then and brought it down to 3.76.
“He’s right where we want him to be,” manager Alex Cora told reporters after Price’s most recent start.
This was a start in which he went seven innings of one run ball against the scorching hot Mariners who had won 11 of 13 coming into the game. He was able to quiet the very loud bats of Seattle to show that he isn’t only pitching well against bad teams.
In fact, the Red Sox have won in Price’s last seven starts. During that span, he has a 2.64 ERA and 47 strikeouts. This rejuvenation is coming at a great time for Price. It’s coming at a time when the whole starting rotation is firing on a cylinders.
Rick Porcello has been a horse all season long. He’s not been Cy Young caliber, but out of his 15 starts, he has only failed to complete six innings three times, and he’s made it into the sixth in all but one of his starts. He’s tied for third in the league with eight wins and sports a respectable 3.70 ERA.
Eduardo Rodriguez is having the best season of his career. His career high for wins is 10 and he already has nine this season before the All-Star break. He hasn’t given up more than three runs since May 5, when he gave up five. But in that game, he had his season high in strikeouts with 10, still pitched six innings, and the Red Sox still won.
Steven Wright has looked like he’s back in his All-Star form in his first three starts this season. Before giving up a run in the third inning of Saturday’s game, he had gone 24.2 consecutive innings without giving up a run. Overall, he has a 1.23 ERA.
Chris Sale has continued to be one of the best starters in baseball. He’s third in the league in strikeouts with 129, boasts a .97 WHIP and is seventh in the league in innings. Even though he’s had the chance to pitch deeper into games, the Red Sox have kept track of his innings. And besides a couple of bad starts in late May and early June, Sale has been expectedly stellar.
All of this is to say that David Price’s recent accomplishments are possibly being overshadowed by the success of his teammates.
“My confidence level is always high,” Price told reporters. “It doesn’t matter if I’m struggling or throwing the ball well. I expect to win every fifth day, and we’ve been doing that.”
He has good reason to be confident. People seem to forget what kind of pedigree he had before signing in Boston. He was a Cy Young winner with three other top-10 finishes and a five time All-Star. In various seasons, he’d led the league in wins, ERA, complete games, innings pitched and strikeouts. He’d had a rough go in the playoffs, but he was still a top 10 pitcher when the Red Sox signed him in 2016. He also had a better season overall than it looks like at a quick glance in his first year in Boston.
Right now, it really looks like Price is turning it around. And he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Forget his beef with Dennis Eckersley, his dog Astro, and Fortnite. David Price looks like he’s back, and a vintage David Price will be a huge weapon for a Red Sox team that looks to make a deep run into October.
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