BOSTON — David Price had yet another rough outing in perhaps one of the weirdest games we’ll see all season.
It’s hard to say all of Price’s 11 hits and five earned runs allowed against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday were a product of poor pitching, as the wind at Fenway Park was like something out of “The Wizard of Oz” for the first couple of innings. Price’s first run allowed in the first inning, for example, came after right fielder Robbie Grossman tripled on what would have been a routine fly ball.
Instead, the wind carried the sky-high fly, baffling right fielder Michael Martinez before it dropped.
“It was crazy,” Martinez said through a translator after the 11-9 loss. “When the fly ball goes into the sky, it turned into a twister of some sort, and you didn’t know where the ball was going to fall. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Price, however, wasn’t OK with using that as an excuse.
“(The wind) wasn’t a factor,” Price said. “If anything, it’s going to make my offspeed pitches move more, and I didn’t use it the right way. On days like that, you’ve got to get the ball on the ground, and I wasn’t able to do that.”
The left-hander put up a similar stat line Saturday to the one he posted in his previous start in New York, allowing five runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts and two walks against the Twins. And Price isn’t too thrilled with how 2016 has unfolded for him so far.
“It’s been terrible,” Price said. “This is not fun. It’s awful.”
Price harped on the things he usually does: that he hasn’t been making pitches and he hasn’t been executing. But, honestly, there’s not much more he can say. He was pretty strong from the third through the fifth inning, and when Price wasn’t sharp, he wasn’t executing his pitches.
But if there’s any consolation, it’s that Price hasn’t lost any confidence.
“I’m still confident in myself,” Price said. “Absolutely. I’d go out there and pitch (Sunday) if they’d let me. My confidence is not altered. I don’t listen to the outside noise. I know my teammates and the coaching staff, they have a lot of confidence in me. I haven’t really given them reason to have a lot of confidence in me this year. I’ve just got to pitch better.”
Here are some more notes from Saturday’s 11-9 loss.
— Heath Hembree, who was on the mound when the Twins took the lead in the seventh, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following Saturday’s game. Red Sox manager John Farrell said the right-hander hasn’t looked confident since returning from the All-Star break.
“As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year, of really the whole first half, the four times out since the break has been the other side of that,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox will make a corresponding move Sunday, and Farrell said reliever Joe Kelly is “definitely in play” as a possible call-up.
— Despite the rough effort from Boston’s pitchers, it actually was a great night for the Red Sox offensively. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts stood out in particular, going 4-for-6 with a run and a double. It was his 16th game with at least three hits, tying fellow shortstop Francisco Lindor for the most in Major League Baseball.
— David Ortiz hit his 320th double at Fenway Park in the eighth inning, passing Ted Williams for second-most all-time at the 104-year-old stadium. The designated hitter probably won’t catch up to Carl Yastrzemski’s 382, but with the way this season is going for Big Papi, you never know.
— If you didn’t catch the game and didn’t see just how much of a factor the wind was, take a look at Bogaerts’ first at-bat of the contest.
However, Bogaerts still managed to hit a single.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jul 23, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports