David Price spun another gem last night in St. Petersburg, Florida, his 2nd quality start in as many games. Ever since being scratched from his start vs. the Yankees earlier this month because of effects felt from a mild case of carpal tunnel in his throwing hand, Price has put together 3 straight strong outings, with each one being arguably better than the last.
On May 12 at Toronto, Price went a respectable 5.1 innings, allowing 2 earned runs from 5 hits and 3 walks while fanning 6. He averaged 93.1 mph on his fastball, and he threw his curveball on a season high 10.8% of his pitches, resulting in a swinging strike percentage of 11.8% (another season high).
Last week vs. Baltimore, Price threw his first complete game as a Red Sox, and he at times looked unbeatable while doing so. He needed only 95 pitches to record all 27 outs, and he allowed just 5 hits while striking out 8. His lone blemish in that game came in the 9th inning, when he gave up a home run to perennial MVP candidate Manny Machado to spoil the shutout.
Yesterday Price was just as effective. He pitched 6 full innings and only allowed 6 base runners and 1 run to go along with 9 K’s. The devastating changeup that propelled him towards the top of the MLB pitching hierarchy was finally back and looking as good as it had in over 3 years. His fastball had nice velocity, and he battered the inside of the strike zone to righties with his patented cutter. He could have easily continued pitching after throwing only 90 pitches through those 6 innings, but will be happy with his performance regardless.
After an incredibly hot start to the year which saw him compile 14 scoreless innings in his first two starts followed by a slump of sorts which saw his ERA balloon to over 5, these last 3 starts by Price have been perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Red Sox from any player this season.