Against all odds, against all traditional baseball logic, and against everyone’s expectations, David Price went out tonight in Baltimore and threw a gem.
Seven strong innings, seven K’s, three hits, one walk, one earned run: a solo homer to Manny Machado who’s incredible so that’s okay. His control was outstanding; he looked like the David Price we remember from a long time ago. He had no trouble throwing strikes.
This start couldn’t have come at a better time: kneE-Rod is going down on the 10-day DL (Okay, my first prediction about Price was dead wrong, but I’m still right about the Red Sox being liars about injuries), and Rick Porcello is still head-to-the-toilet-seat with a Cy Young hangover. Chris Sale got roughed up in his last start, and the Red Sox were in danger once again of losing three straight games.
Oh, and still no sign of Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg, but Thorny is apparently long-tossing now. In their stead, Brandon Workman’s come back. Now we have Workman in the pen, Pablo Sandoval actually hitting, and David Price having a good start. Welcome back to 2013.
I’m hoping this is the spark; one day we might not have to laugh at 7 years, $215 million. One day.
Now David Price earned himself ammo to fire back at the snippy Boston media, but after tonight’s start he has my permission. Then again, it’s best for his reputation to stick to his guns. He has maintained that his arm feels fine. I think now we can move on from that.
His first start Memorial Day in Chicago was pretty okay given that Dombrowski was quick to bring Price back up, and Price only showed flashes of his previous self with some powerful strikeouts despite the three earned runs in five innings of work. However, it gave the sign that Price was ready to go, and just needed the rust to come off.
On another note, the team deserves props for pulling their socks up to welcome David Price back.
The team has no definitive leader with 34 gone, and that’s all the reason to show that they all need one another to perform. The same can be said about the reception Pablo Sandoval received on Tuesday in Chicago, despite all the reason not to want Sandoval to come back. Dugouts are not lifeless but it’s uncommon to see players get a welcome like that after returning from injury.
The word of the day is rejuvination. If these guys can all come back from injury and bring something to the table, the Red Sox will be able to finish their mini-comback and take back the AL East. The injuries are still hurting them, and the loss of Eduardo Rodriguez does the most damage, but they’ll tough it out with more performances like tonight.
The Red Sox are still stuck with a four-man rotation (before you ask, Brian Johnson has a bad hamstring), but they’ll be much better off with a good David Price going for them every fourth or so day.
And after David Price, the depleted bullpen is still doing its job, starting with Craig Kimbrel, who was unhittable in the month of May. He earned AL Reliever of the Month and is now a runaway favorite to be an All-Star in July. Not bad at all.
The Red Sox had a positive month of May after an unimpressive April, but they could always use a sparkplug. The Red Sox need to respond from this big start by splitting with Baltimore and going to New York with guns blazing.
A legitimate knock on this team is that they’re yet to have a point in the season where they show their dominance. Ironically, this was in May and June for the 2016 Red Sox, where they were scoring runs left and right on everybody.
Whether that’s Hanley hitting a key home run or David Price dominating the Orioles, we’re not sure. Chris Sale is on the hill tomorrow for the Red Sox, and it’s common knowledge that he doesn’t like giving up many runs. Stay tuned.