Getting caught up on my sports radio talk from yesterday, I am hearing every show on 98.5 The Sports Hub ripping the Red Sox “ace” David Price’s start on Tuesday. Every show just continued to bash the pitcher, and this is something I have come to expect from Michael Felger, Tony Massarotti, and Adam Jones, but this time, even Marc Bertrand and Scott Zolak were piling on.
Now, I understand that Price received one of the most lucrative deals in the history of the MLB, but there is a point where we have to give the guy some leeway. As a whole, this season has been a disaster for Price, who was extremely lucky to have a 7-3 record entering Tuesday’s outing against the Baltimore Orioles. In this appearance, he gave up three runs on five hits while striking out 11 batters. This is a pretty solid start, right? Guess again.
Earlier in the season, he admitted to having problems with his pitching mechanics, and since then, he has settled into a pretty nice groove.
Prior to the fix, Price had a 6.75 ERA and was only accruing wins due to the stellar offensive tear the Red Sox were on. Since this fix, in seven starts, Price holds a 3-3 record with a 2.68 ERA, lowering his season ERA to 4.52. He has allowed no more than three runs in any of his last seven starts.
The biggest comment on his recent play has been his inability to avoid giving up HRs. 8 of the 35 hits he has allowed during these seven starts, have been home runs. I’m not one to come in and say that this isn’t a problem, because it is, but when a guy is holding teams to under three runs a game, there should be more wins than losses. This just hasn’t been the case. This is baseball, and because David Price got crazy run support earlier in the season, everything must balance out, and now he gets none. He is still 7th in the league for run support, but that is largely because of the ridiculous offensive display in his first seven appearances.
How you can you be upset with the fact that Price is giving this team a chance to win? The number one run scoring team in the league should be able to go out and score four runs nearly every night, but for some reason, it just isn’t happening for Price.
“This guy isn’t performing like an ace. He isn’t performing like Pedro Martinez or Roger Clemens.”
This is a legitimate quote that was said by a Boston sports radio host, and I can’t believe that statement. We are comparing David Price, who is a great pitcher with a tremendous reputation, to two of the top five greatest pitchers of all-time. How can you go out there and expect someone to just be the greatest thing we’ve ever seen? That is putting a little to much pressure on him, and that is something we tend to do here in Boston.
The home runs are a problem, and Price needs to figure out why these players are getting such solid contact on his pitches. Before the entire Boston media landscape runs this guy out of town after one season, can we atleast see what the entire season looks like, because if he keeps pitching like he has the last seven starts, he is good enough to get this team to the playoffs. Let’s focus on the other down starters such as Porcello or the non-existent fifth starter in the rotation, before we pile on the guy who has been on a hot streak.