The Red Sox have followed up their best series win of the year with their worst series loss, and yes, it's time to start worrying about David Price if you hadn't already.
Six runs. Facing a Yankees lineup without Alex Rodriguez, David Price allowed six runs, and never even saw the sixth inning. He got through the first couple without much trouble, but gave up the 1-0 lead he'd been staked on an Austin Romine double in the third, and then...then the fourth happened. Price surrendered a quick pair of singles to start the frame, then after he was denied a strikeout on a close pitch over the inside part of the plate, walked Dustin Ackley.to load the bases with just one away. He got Chase Headley to fly out to right, not deep enough to score a run, and got ahead 0-2 to Didi Gregorius.
He was one strike away from escaping unscathed. One strike against a shortstop who, at the time, had an OPS under .600. These are the at bats David Price has to be able to win. He's a Cy Young winner, for God's sake!
He gave up a bases-clearing triple down the right field line. Then two more in the fifth on another pair of walks and a Carlos Beltran. His high mark on velocity for the day was the lowest of any game in his career. It's not April anymore, and Price is just getting worse. That's a decent indication that something is wrong with him physically, and at this point, the Red Sox kind of have to hope that's the case, because the alternative is...unsettling, to say the least.
So Price gave up six runs. The Red Sox got all of two from their offense, with the bright spot being Jackie Bradley Jr. finding the seats for the third time this year. It's a small consolation prize, though, and the Yankees went ahead and added on two more against the bullpen for good measure, lest the Sox get any delusions about stealing this one back in the late innings.
For the entire year, we've just been throwing in David Price as one of the "sure things" in the rotation. Which made the situation look pretty nice as Rick Porcello and Steven Wright emerged as reliable options. But at this point we're too deep into the year to ignore all the awful results. Has he been unlucky? Sure. But that doesn't explain away all of it. Not even close. The Red Sox paid big money for Price because he was the guaranteed ace, and he's been anything but. With a rotation crunch already on the horizon, it might be time to start thinking about shutting him down and trying to identify what's up before it gets worse.