As a long-time conductor of the David Price bandwagon, I’d like to welcome you all aboard.
Yesterday afternoon, the lefty threw eight shutout innings against Cleveland, striking out seven and allowing only three hits and not a single walk. It was the latest in a string of brilliant outings from Price, who has been much maligned both by the Boston media and the fan base during his tenure with the Red Sox. Since the All-Star Game, Price has pitched better than just about anybody out there. He has gone 4-0 (if you’re into wins) with a barely existent ERA (1.09). If you want more advanced numbers, well his 2.33 FIP , 25 ERA- and 57 FIP- all point to a pitcher that is working inside of the ace zone.
If we take a step back and look at Price’s entire body of work this season, those numbers aren’t as ace-like, but he has enjoyed a year that has been plenty good enough for a No. 2 starter, especially when you’ve got Chris Sale leading the rotation. Price is 14-6 with a 3.50 ERA and has been worth 2.5 wins above replacement according to FanGraphs. The more sophisticated run prevention metrics are all in acceptable territories as well (3.82 FIP, 3.79 SIERA). He has a strikeout rate of 24.4 percent, which is in line with what he’s done during his time with the Red Sox, but he is leaving more runners on base, inducing less hard contact and utilizing his cutter and changeup more than he did a year ago. His fastball is still his most valuable pitch (17.4 wFB), but he is utilizing it only 47.2 percent of the time, which is the lowest mark of his career. A better mix of pitches is making a fastball that has lost some speed more effective since players can’t just sit on it.
In today’s links there are plenty of deeper rundowns of what Price is doing to be successful or glowing articles about how this is just what the Red Sox need, but I just wanted to bask in the glow a little bit right now because it hasn’t always been easy to drive this train.
As promised, here is some more writing about Price’s recent success. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
But there’s more! (Nick Friar; South Coast Today)
And even more! (Chris Mason; Salem News)
Here’s some in video form! (NBC Sports)
OK. That’s enough about Price. Now let’s talk about the amazing season Mookie Betts is having. (Matthew Kory; The Athletic) ($$)
Brock Holt plays a similar game to Alex Cora, who is now his manager. (Lauren Campbell; NESN)
It’s not all good news. Mitch Moreland injured his left knee. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
Bobby Dalbec is launching homers all over Portland. (Harold Rivera; The Athletic) ($$)