If the Boston Red Sox didn’t low-ball Jon Lester all the way to Chicago via Oakland and subsequent free agency, Red Sox lefty David Price is not in town on a seven-year, $217 million contract.
It’s perhaps the franchise’s greatest misstep of this current era, and it becomes all the more glaring with each Price no-show in primetime, particularly against the New York Yankees.
In nine starts against the Yankees since joining the Red Sox, Price has surrendered 44 earned runs in 47 innings, good for an ERA north of eight and 2-6 record. Price has also been a career-long disaster at Yankee Stadium, with Yankees hitting .292 off him with 21 homers, along with 64 earned runs charged to Price in just over 120 innings of work.
But Lester himself thinks that whatever’s bugging Price in his head-to-heads with the Bombers will be sorted out by No. 24.
“I don’t think David Price needs to reinvent himself,” Lester offered when speaking at this week’s All-Star festivities in Washington. “I think he’s a pretty darn good pitcher and he’s been one for a while. I’m sure from what I’ve heard about him as far as his work ethic and how he goes about his craft, I’m sure he’ll figure out the Yankees at some point.”
Noting that he thinks that the ideas of pitching ‘re-inventing’ themselves is overused, Lester went into the mindset of a pitcher when he goes up against a team that’s given him fits.
“When you struggle against a team, it’s kind of like, ‘OK, when’s it going to happen? I got through the first. Is it going to happen in the second? Now I got through the second. OK, now is it going to happen in the third?’ Now all of a sudden, base hit to right. ‘Damn, OK. Is this the inning?’ A walk. ‘Oh, man. Yankee Stadium. Got a righty up.’ Boom. Three-run homer. And now you’re like, ‘OK, here it is.’ Now you look up and you’ve given up six.”
But Lester never struggled against the Yankees to this degree during his time in Boston. He instead posted a 13-6 record and 181 strikeouts in 181 innings against the Bombers, including a 9-3 record in 16 career starts in the Bronx.