Few men in the Boston sports scene have the microscope on them quite like David Price. So while his mishaps get exacerbated quite a bit, it is becoming increasingly clear that rough outings are more of an anomaly than the norm.
The Red Sox southpaw delivered yet another solid outing in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, tossing seven innings of two-run ball, allowing five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. The win upped his record to 13-6 on the season and marked the seventh straight win for Boston with the lefty on the mound.
But this success hardly is anything new. In fact, since getting diagnosed with mild carpal tunnel — which, of course, led to his infamous missed start against the New York Yankees — Price has been almost exclusively dominant. Upon making his return from the one-start hiatus May 12, Price is 11-2 and the Sox are 15-2 when he gets the ball over that span.
Immense success for the 32-year-old has been even more apparent since the All-Star break, as well. Price is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA since the time off in July, with the Red Sox claiming victory in all five of those starts.
After a bumpy start to the campaign, Price has been the epitome of reliable and stable, and he’s gotten quite a few proverbial monkeys off his back in the process. After getting smacked around by the Yankees on July 1, he responded by mowing them down Aug. 5. He’s gone deep into games and hasn’t had issues with injury.
And with Boston now looking toward a playoff run, there’s one hurdle Price has left to overcome, which is his struggles as a postseason starter. Maybe now more than ever Price is poised to handle that, and him accomplishing that is going to be pivotal to his team’s success.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Rays game:
— J.D. Martinez retook the Major League Baseball lead for home runs Saturday night, belting a solo shot to center field in the third inning.
It was the slugger’s 38th dinger and the continued debunking of a theory that surrounded him when he signed with Boston. Many figured his swing — which relies on pounding the ball to the opposite field — wouldn’t play well in Fenway Park’s deep right field, but that nary has been a worry. His home run Saturday was his 22nd blast at home this season.
— Brock Holt may have seen his seven-game hit streak come to an end in the win, but he made up for it in the field.
Playing third base for the first time this season, Holt made a tremendous barehanded play off a Carlos Gomez bunt. He reached down and grabbed the ball and fired it to first base in one motion, narrowly getting Gomez.
With Rafael Devers on the disabled list, it is going to fall on Holt in addition to Eduardo Nunez to pick up the slack at the hot corner. It couldn’t have been more clear Saturday that regardless of how little time Holt has spent at the position this campaign, he is more than apt to handle the responsibility.
— Things haven’t been smooth for Craig Kimbrel lately, but he looked sharp in the ninth Saturday.
The hard-throwing closer came in and tossed a 1-2-3 frame, earning his 37th save of the season, which is good for second in the league.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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