With a win on Sunday night, the Red Sox had the opportunity to move into a tie with Toronto for second place in the AL East. These are the type of big games that we brought our new ace David Price here to pitch. Unfortunately, time and time again it has seemed as though every time we send him out there when the team is in need of a win, he can’t get the job done. The Red Sox jumped on top early on a sacrifice fly by Xander Bogaerts that gave them a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. This lead would increase to 2-0 on an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi. However, it seems as though every time the Red Sox find a way to give their pitchers a lead, the pitchers are going to find a way to give it up. This is exactly what David Price did.
During this season, everyone has either taken on the title of a David Price hater or a David Price defender. All season I’ve sided more with the defenders in the sense that even though he continues to go out and get shelled in big games, he could still turn it around and become the pitcher we thought we were getting. Sunday night was the night that all of that changed for me. He had been coming off of two good starts and was now going up against a non-intimidating Dodger lineup. As usual, he realized it was a big start so naturally he went out there and underperformed. On top of the fact that he couldn’t locate his pitches, he didn’t have a single pitch that was working well enough to put someone away. He was able to get batters to 2 strikes fairly often, but it would result in him either walking the batter or having to throw a very hittable pitch that the batter was all over. Now back to the fact that he couldn’t command his pitches. He walked 5 batters in 5 innings. This may be just another day at the office if it were Drew Pomeranz pitching, but it’s not. This is David Price. David Price is not supposed to pitch 5 innings, walk 5 batters, and strikeout 3. David Price is supposed to pitch 7 or 8 innings, not walk any batters, and strikeout 10+. I don’t care what Price has to say about his performance. I’m done listening. I don’t care about his salary, we brought him here to pitch well and he hasn’t done that. He can say he has to be better all he wants, he clearly isn’t getting better and needs to figure out why. I’ve run out of excuses for David Price not performing. I’m not saying this whole signing was a bust, but year 1 is at the very least a major disappointment.
On the bright side, Andrew Benintendi has proven to be exactly who we thought he was. He is a reliable hitter with an exceptional eye for the strike zone. Last night I watched Benintendi not even flinch on breaking balls falling out of the zone that I could just picture Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. chasing after for strike three. These abilities allowed him to put together his first 3 hit game and collect his first 2 RBI’s Sunday night. He also collected his first stolen base. He showed off his well above average speed with this stolen base as well as when he scored from second on a lined shot to left field by Mookie Betts. On a demoralizing night for Red Sox fans, Benintendi showed that there’s at least one thing that fans can get excited about.
The Red Sox are coming back to Boston after a 5-6 road trip. They still remain only 3 games back of Baltimore in the division, but they are going to need to go on a run if they want to begin to close that gap. Inconsistency has been the calling card for this Red Sox team as they continue to lose games against teams that they should be beating. This next homestand against the Yankees and Diamondbacks should really tell the fans if this team has a legitimate shot at the division crown.