When David Price signed a seven-year contract reportedly worth $217 million with the Red Sox in 2015, the Boston ballclub expected that he’d continue his dominance as one of the top pitchers in all of Major League Baseball.
While Price hasn’t been terrible by any stretch of the imagination, he hasn’t exactly lived up to the lofty expectations that such a hefty price tag inevitably brings.
In 2016, his first season in Boston, Price won 17 of his 35 starts. That’s ace-like numbers for a win total. But even with a 17-9 record, Price’s earned run average was 3.99—a full run-and-a-half higher than the year before when he finished second in the American League Cy Young balloting. Much of his 2017 season was spent on the disabled list.
Price, a former Blackman High School baseball star, began the 2018 season with 14 innings of shutout ball, winning both decisions.
He was lifted after just one inning in his next start against the Yankees, a 10-7 Boston loss. After losing the third of his next four starts on May 3, words like “dreadful” were being bandied about in the Boston media describing Price’s season to that point.
Since that May 3 loss, however, Price has gone 12-2 lowering his ERA from 5.11 to 3.50. Following his most recent outing, an 8-inning, 3-hit shutdown of the Cleveland Indians, Price told masslive.com “This is the pitcher Boston signed. So, for me to get back to that, it's about time."
In his seven starts since the All-Star Break, the Murfreesboro native is 5-0 with a 1.50 ERA, striking out 48 batters. Price’s next start is scheduled for Wednesday night against the lowly Miami Marlins.
While his Red Sox were swept in a three-game series this past weekend for the first time all season, Boston still holds a 6.5 game lead over the Yankees in the American League East. With 90 wins before Sept. 1, the Red Sox have been far and away the best team in baseball all season long.
If Price continues this same dominance down the stretch (and if the Sox No. 1 ace Chris Sale returns strong from his recent injury), the Red Sox will coast into the playoffs and should easily be the odds-on favorite to win the World Series.