By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Maybe it’s not fair to judge David Price’s entire 2018 season over one poor outing against the New York Yankees. But, without question, Price simply needs to be better and more consistent against the Boston Red Sox’ top competition in the American League.
Price got absolutely shellacked in a laughably bad start on Sunday night in the Bronx, surrendering eight runs (including five home runs) in just three-plus innings of work. With a chance to further quiet concerns about how he’d perform in meaningful games, entering Sunday’s start with a 7-1 record and 2.72 ERA in his previous nine, Price came crashing back to Earth with a deafening boom.
And now he’s right back where he was when the questions and concerns started.
“I’ve faced the Yankees many times,” Price told reporters after the game. “It’s time to go back to the drawing board and kind of reinvent myself against these guys.”
Price didn’t make any excuses for himself, unless you count when he said he “felt fine” and that the Yankees “put some good swings on what I felt like were pretty good pitches.” But he knows, and he admitted, that he was so bad on Sunday and has so much room for improvement against the Yankees that he just needs to be better in spots like Sunday night. Rubber match with a chance to maintain the Red Sox’ lead in the division, on the road in a tough stadium, and he imploded to an incredible degree.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of things [to explain the Yankees’ recent success],” Price said. “To pinpoint one of them, that’s kind of tough. Just execution in those big spots, that’s something I’ve got to do a better job of.”
The comment that’s likely to ring hollow among many Red Sox fans and observers, and their thinning patience with the high-priced lefty, is that he’s going to put the start behind him and focus on his next outing – against the 25-58 Kansas City Royals.
“I’m not going to let a bad start define my season,” Price said. “I’m going to keep on pushing forward and be ready to go in five days.”
There’s little doubt that Price can perform well and do it consistently against inferior competition. But against the Yankees in a Red Sox uniform, Price is now 2-6 with an 8.43 ERA in nine starts. At Yankee Stadium, he’s 0-5 with a 10.44 ERA. There’s really no commentary necessary for those numbers; they speak for themselves.
The questions about how Price will pitch in October have been hanging over him all along. Now there’s virtually no reason to have any confidence that he can do what he needs to do to have success at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, it’s likely that he’ll need to figure that out if the Red Sox want to get past the Yankees in the AL East, let alone the postseason.
Price’s performance in the Bronx may not define his whole season, but it will be among his most important moments. He has yet to prove that he can even show up there.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.