After a rough start to the season, David Price has morphed into the ace that Red Sox fans were all hoping for when signed his mega contract.
Doubters – what do you have to say now? David Price is quietly going on a ridiculous run. A run that some would say may be the best of his career, and one that proves he just may be worth that huge contract that he signed last offseason.
His victory over the Orioles on Monday night was his seventh in a row and kept Boston’s two game cushion atop the AL East intact. Price only gave up two runs on two hits in eight innings and added another nine strikeouts to his total of 210 on the year (3rd in the AL).
His ERA is down to 3.81. Price has about three starts left in the regular season meaning that his ERA could get very close to 3.50, an amazing feat considering it was as high as 6.75 after his May 7th start at Yankee Stadium. It has come tumbling down ever since then. His ERA in the month of June was 4.08, 2.80 in July, 2.93 in August and is currently 2.45 in three starts in September. That trend alone displays just how much better Price has become as the season has rolled on.
While Rick Porcello and Steven Wright have been the recipient of a good deal of the praise from Red Sox fans, and deservedly so, Price has turned his season around. And it comes at a great time as Jacob Shafer of Bleacher Report noted recently. Shafer had some interesting notes in his piece, including the fact that “In a dozen second-half starts, Price is 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA”. Also, Price’s fastball was down from his career average of 94.2 mph to 92.9 in the early months of the season. I have a theory that Price was attempting to alter his style as he entered a new point of his career and was experimenting with how he delivers the ball.
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He was never really having an awful season, but he certainly wasn’t living up to the hype or the contract early on. Some people attributed his struggles to the pressure of living up to his contract or signing with a new team and living in a new city or perhaps the ravenous Boston media was getting to him.
So how did Price turn it around? According to Price, it was all about perseverance. “Execution. Sticking with it. That’s what it is,” Price said according to WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. He says he doesn’t pay attention to the numbers especially his tumbling ERA and doesn’t listen to what people are saying. He just wants to win.
And that’s exactly what this team is doing right now. A magical comeback victory over the Yankees on Thursday night and then another big win on Friday have kept them on top of the division.
More from Hannable on Price:
"“We’re playing well, for sure,” Price said. “We all have that feeling in the clubhouse, out in the dugout. This is a very close-knit group of guys. That is what you want to be part of. That is what makes 162 games plus spring training that much fun. That’s why I am here. I knew the veterans that we had and the young guys that we had and how tight they were in that clubhouse. That’s not work. This is all fun.”"
His start this afternoon could be the biggest one yet for Price in his Sox career. He has grabbed the reins and is attempting to lead this team to the playoffs. It’s also become appointment viewing any time he is on the mound. There is something about watching him pitch as of late. I’ve noticed a switch in his attitude and demeanor. There is a killer instinct and a feeling that he can’t and won’t be denied. It’s fun to sit back and watch as David Price proves the naysayers wrong. Let’s hope he gets to do it into late October.