If this is the way that David Price will pitch for the rest of the year then AL hitters will not be happy to see the Red Sox on their schedule. After Chris Sale gave up just one hit in 6 innings on Thursday, Price followed up with a gem of his own.
He went 7 innings, giving up 4 hits (all singles) and no runs to a Rays team that was confident after Opening Day’s comeback win. Although he gave up 3 more hits than Sale, he allowed the same amount of base runners (4).
Price looked to be in midseason form. 55 of his 76 pitches (it’s pretty clear that Alex Cora is keeping his newly healed elbow under a strict pitch count early in the season) were thrown for strikes, and most of them with gusto, as well. His fastball velocity hovered around only the low 90’s, but his cutter had wonderful late movement, often inching over the plate at the last millisecond for a called strike. His changeup was also looking very deceptive, routinely causing batters to swing early and over the top, and only 26% of batted balls were hit hard (Fangraphs).
He threw first pitch strikes to 16 of the 24 batters he faced, which was the catalyst to his two most important stats of the night: 0 walks and only 76 pitches through 7 innings.
Price will look to build upon his strong opening performance moving forward, hopefully becoming the second ace we all prayed he would be for the Red Sox.