Red Sox lefty David Price reaches milestone with 150th career win
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price reached a milestone in his career with his 150th win, which came against one of his former teams.
The Boston Red Sox surged into the break with their fifth win in their last six games but this was no ordinary victory for David Price. Sunday’s win against the Detroit Tigers was the 150th of the left-hander’s career.
150 wins is an impressive milestone for Price, who is in the middle of his 11th full season. Since 1970, only 96 major league pitchers have reached that win total.
Price owns a 150-77 record and a 3.25 ERA for his career. He joins Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Whitey Ford, Lefty Grove, Ron Guidry, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer as the only pitchers who have won 150+ games with a .650+ winning percentage and an ERA of 3.30 or lower.
More than half of Price’s wins came as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and he spent stints with two other teams before signing with the Red Sox as a free agent in 2016. However, his .687 winning percentage in Boston is higher than his percentage with the Rays (.636) or Detroit Tigers (.619). Only his brief tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays when he went 9-1 following a trade deadline deal tops his efficiency wining games in Boston.
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Price’s 46 wins in a Red Sox uniform rank 56th in franchise history and he has plenty of time to climb that list. He has a very realistic shot of cracking the top-50 this season and he remains under contract for three more years. Even a conservative estimate would project Price for around 50 more wins over the next three and a half seasons, potentially putting him in position to finish inside the top-10 in franchise history if he remains in Boston and stays healthy.
By limiting the Tigers to one run over five innings on Sunday, Price lowered his season ERA to 3.24. He ranks 12th in the American League in that category and his 1.15 WHIP is 15th (minimum 80 innings). Price also owns a career-high 10.3 K/9 that ranks 9th in the league and his 4.52 K/BB ratio is 10th.
Price has been by far the most consistent pitcher in the Red Sox rotation in what is shaping up to be his best season in Boston. He missed out on being an All-Star but a strong finish could generate some Cy Young buzz for the southpaw. Price won the award in 2012 as a member of the Rays but hasn’t been in the conversation since 2015 when finished as the runner-up while splitting time between Detroit and Toronto.
The 33-year old probably won’t pitch long enough to consider him on pace for the magic win total of 300 that would make him a near-lock for Cooperstown. He still has plenty left in the tank for 200 to be realistic. If he remains relatively healthy, Price could make a run at 250 career wins, which only 36 pitchers have ever accomplished.
The Red Sox will need every win they can get when they return from the break, as they trail the New York Yankees by nine games and they are two games out of a Wild Card spot. It’s a steep challenge but Boston has to feel great about their chances to win any time Price takes the mound.