On a Saturday afternoon in early May, I sat with a couple friends at a brunch spot in Allston as the Red Sox-Yankees game played on a TV above the bar. The Bloody Mary’s and mimosas were not enough to drown out the appalling start that David Price was having against the last place New York Yankees.
David Price’s final line that afternoon was 4.2 innings pitched, seven hits, six earned runs, three walks, and only four strikeouts with the game-changing play coming in the fourth inning as Didi Gregorious slapped an 0-2 pitch down the right field line for a three-run triple. Not the start the Red Sox expected or desired out of their $217 million prized free agent.
Then things changed with the help of Dustin Pedroia’s film study and now we are looking at a very different David Price. The David Price that Red Sox fans wanted. The David Price that Red Sox fans needed.
His next start on May 12th against the Houston Astros (who apparently now suck?) was light years better as he out-dueled last year’s American League Cy Young, Dallas Keuchel. Price’s final line for that game was 6.2 innings pitched, six hits, one earned run, one walk, AND (drum roll please) TWELVE strikeouts in an 11-1 rout.
You’ve heard all about the adjustments Price made. Getting his leg higher and his glove higher. As Price explained it:
“I want my hands and my right leg or my right knee to be connected by a string. Whenever my knee goes up, I want my hands to go up. Whenever my knee goes back down, I want my hands to go back down.”
Was that start against the lowly Astros just a fluke? Well, that was put to the test last night against the defending champion Kansas City Royals and Price came up in a big way once again.
Price’s ERA shrunk to 5.53 (still not great, obviously) as he went 7.1 innings and gave up only five hits for two earned runs to get a much needed win and avoid the series sweep. Going into the summer months this is what the Red Sox need as they start saddling up with the Baltimore Orioles and turn the AL East into a two horse race.
But we all know how the saying goes. Once is a chance, twice is a coincidence, third time is a pattern.
My unbiased opinion? Price’s next start (most likely) comes on the night where the Red Sox will be honoring the 30th Anniversary of the 1986-pennant winning team. In celebration of the auspicious night, we are going to get a complete game, one-hitter from Price. Set your DVRs accordingly.