Thursday in New York was a golden opportunity to make up the lost ground in the division. David Price, fresh off Saturday’s brilliant win, would have the ball once again.
This wasn’t the main story in Boston. News broke out through a number of local outlets that David Price was drastically limiting his availability to the media, putting it nicely.
He had already made himself less available to the media on off-days this season, but as of Wednesday, he’s closing the door on any interviews, questions or anything of the like, on the record or otherwise.
The beat writer bee hive is understandably and rightly pissed off, with more hit pieces on the guy than you can count coming out the day after Price’s lackluster start. There’s no angle here though, it truly was an awful start.
The worst part of this is his bad start isn’t what I should focus on right now, but I will. Price made it through the first inning fine, but it was a disaster from then on. He had a hiccup in the second inning with Brett Gardner knocking in an RBI single. Though Price made it through the second, the Yankees could tell that Price didn’t have it.
One of these was Gary Sanchez. He took Price deep for three runs in the third inning to make it 4-0 Yankees, a lead that’s been almost insurmountable for the team this season.
However, the damage didn’t stop there. In the fifth inning, Gary Sanchez hit David Price with another two-run home run, and that was it for Price.
Five innings, eight hits, six earned runs, four walks. Yeesh.
Price threw some mistake pitches that I expect he’ll correct next start, but the four BBs is what scares me. He only allowed one walk in his start against Baltimore, and that’s what allowed him to be effective. Instead of seven K’s and one walk in Baltimore, he had four K’s and four walks in the Bronx.
It’s gotten to the point where there are people who are rooting for Price to fail, only because he’s an asshole. The more I hear of Price’s battles with the media, the less I blame them, though nobody in a Red Sox jersey should be hated like that. He has put a lot of the hate on himself by not owning up to his failures and opening up to the criticism.
Look, Sean Spicer couldn’t screw up his media relations worse than David Price has now. You have to wonder how he’s not thinking about his 2018 opt-out each time he has to pitch and then deal with these people.
Each time I hear about Price picking fights (or escalating them), I think about it too.
The contract put a target on his back, but it’s up to Price to recognize that and more importantly, live with it. Yeah he’s overpaid. If he’s anything less than a Cy Young candidate every year he’s overpaid, but if he just puts on a happy face when the big meanies with the phones wanna talk to him, they’ll only ever write about what’s on the field. Isn’t that what he wants?
I look at the other big-money pitchers and get bummed out. There’s Max Scherzer, the guy who made $210 million from the Nationals, learning a new slider to go with his other slider to make him even more unhittable. There’s our own Chris Sale, who does his job every fifth day and the Boston media leaves him alone. Clayton Kershaw came back from injury this year and is back to his under 2.00 ERA self. Even Zack Greinke, you know, the guy who broke Price’s record for highest-paid pitcher, had the worst year of his career by far last year and is now dominating for the Diamondbacks.
But David Price? He’s too busy picking fights with reporters and getting hurt at the wrong time. It’s now a surprise to see him pitch like an ace. He’s had some bad luck with injuries, but that shouldn’t be the end-all for why Price can’t pitch in this town at 31 years of age.
I’ll never stop hoping Price turns it around and proves all of his doubters wrong, but I don’t know if he has the proverbial balls for that. Too many times already he’s had one good start followed by a fifth-inning wash in an important game.
I’ll go to my grave saying Price was the right guy to sign at the time, but I’ll also go to my grave saying the Red Sox should’ve kept Jon Lester if it was possible. They didn’t, and now we’re at this point.
And so I’ll say once again, if Price wants another contract after this, there’s all the reason for him to pitch like an ace from now until 2018, or hopefully after that.