David Price’s latest outing against the New York Yankees on Sunday could have been much worse.
The Boston Red Sox starter gave up a whopping 11 hits in the Bronx, walking one with only one strikeout over 5 2/3 innings, but he minimized the damage to just three runs, a two-run deficit the Red Sox’s offense should have been able to come back from. In short, Price wasn’t bad. But the Red Sox are expecting him to be great.
Price was leaving pitches over the plate, and the left-hander couldn’t find a put-away pitch. After the game, he was forced to harp on the same thing he has all season: execution.
“Even when I was ahead (in the count), I couldn’t execute whatever pitch I was throwing to get an out,” Price said after the 3-1 loss, per ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber. “That’s tough. You guys are tired of hearing it, and I’m tired of saying it: I’ve got to execute.”
The southpaw is well aware of his problems. He knows he has to pitch better. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when he can’t go out and pitch effectively.
“My fastball in to righties, I didn’t throw a good one the entire game,” Price said. “The 100-plus pitches, I didn’t throw a good fastball in to a righty the entire day. Whenever I don’t command that pitch on that side of the plate, that’s when it causes a lot of problems for myself.”
Price went into the All-Star break with some momentum after making it through eight innings in five of his previous seven starts, including an eight-inning, 10-strikeout shutout in his final outing before the break. And he’s as disappointed as anyone that he couldn’t carry it into Sunday.
“We’d won six in a row, I’d heard, our longest winning streak of the year,” Price said. “To be the guy that goes up there and doesn’t help us win that seventh one, that’s tough.”
Here are some more notes from Sunday’s loss.
— While the Price dilemma certainly isn’t ideal, it’s just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things right now. The Red Sox remain just two games out of first place in the American League East behind the Baltimore Oriole and are 9-3 in July. If the season ended today, they’d be playing the AL wild-card game at Fenway Park.
— The Red Sox also have some good news about their rotation, as newly acquired starter Drew Pomeranz is raring to go Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants. Pomeranz, who the Red Sox got from the San Diego Padres on Thursday in exchange for prospect Anderson Espinoza, has put in work as a starter and a reliever and had already been traded four times before coming to the Red Sox, so he’s used to change.
“I’ve done literally everything there is to do on a baseball field as a pitcher,” Pomeranz said Saturday, per the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich. “I’m pretty prepared for anything. You could shove me out there in any situation. I’ve done it. I have a routine. I’ll stick to my routine.”
— Joe Kelly recorded a save over two scoreless innings of relief for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday, but it might be a while before he’s in Boston’s bullpen.
“Typically with a two-inning outing there’s going to be a couple of days down and back in the ballgame after that,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday, per MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey. “While this transition is going as we had hoped in terms of his converting into a reliever working strictly out of the stretch, there’s been no discussion as a return date to here yet.”
— Reliever Junichi Tazawa threw a 40-pitch bullpen before Sunday’s game, per The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, and is expected to return from the disabled list (shoulder impingement) Thursday or Friday. The right-hander will first pitch a simulated game, though.
“It’s best for all if he does see some hitters, even if they are our own,” Farrell said, via Abraham.
— There’s currently no timetable for Chris Young (hamstring) or Blake Swihart’s (ankle) return from the DL, per Abraham. However, Swihart is taking swings from both sides of the plate now and could start rehabbing this weekend.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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