Boston Red Sox lefty David Price is falling apart before our eyes
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price’s season is crumbling in the wake of his latest disaster against the New York Yankees.
An ace is a pitcher you turn to in order to stop the bleeding. The guy you trust to step up his game to snap a losing streak. He finds a way to win. It’s debatable whether or not David Price is considered a co-ace of the Boston Red Sox but he’s certainly paid like one. The team needed him to prevent a devastating sweep in the Bronx but he instead delivered one of the worst starts of his career.
The bullpen could have used a breather following the previous day’s doubleheader but Price ensured there would be no rest for the weary by failing to escape the third inning. After retiring two of the first three batters to begin the frame, Price allowed six consecutive hits. A home run, three doubles and a pair of base hits. A nine-pitch walk to Gleyber Torres was the last straw.
Price’s day was done with a dismal line of 2 2/3 innings, seven earned runs on nine hits and two walks. The seven runs are the most he’s allowed this season and the nine hits equaled a season-high.
The Yankees have a powerful lineup capable of making any pitcher look bad but it was their B-Team that did the most damage in this game. Gio Urshela, Cameron Maybin, Mike Ford, and Kyle Higashioka aren’t exactly forming the new Murderer’s Row. Price made them look like superstars by hanging meatballs over the plate for the Yankees bats to tee off on.
The outing quickly unraveling in the third inning mirrors how Price’s season has crumbled over the last few weeks. Price has failed to make it through five innings in three of his last four starts. He’s allowed a total of 17 earned runs in those three abbreviated starts and coughed up a pair of home runs in each of them.
Yankee Stadium has always been a house of horrors for Price, where he owns a career 5.11 ERA in nine starts. If only we could chalk up this poor outing to his struggles in this particular ballpark but that doesn’t explain how the lowly Baltimore Orioles shelled him for six runs.
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It wasn’t long ago that Price was considered the most consistent starter in an otherwise underachieving rotation. He owed a steller 2.70 ERA in early June after winning consecutive starts to open the month. He carried a 3.24 ERA into the All-Star break. It appeared that Price was heading for his best season since joining the Red Sox in 2016 but that narrative has quickly pivoted in the opposite direction. His 4.36 ERA and 1.32 WHIP would be his worst marks since his rookie season.
The Red Sox just finished up a stretch against AL East opponents that was expected to make or break their season. They failed to beat up on the O’s in Baltimore with Price taking one of the two losses in that series. Price couldn’t beat the Tampa Bay Rays in consecutive outings against his former team. Then he wrapped up this divisional gauntlet by getting obliterated by the Yankees.
An eight-game losing streak has broken the Red Sox and Price has been at the forefront of the issues that have plagued them during this downfall. Their postseason chances will spiral down the drain if Price can’t get back on track and the $96 million remaining on his contract will threaten to become a sunk cost.