Last night was the type of night we had in mind when we signed David Price. Coming off two miserable losses in Baltimore. Dropping sole possession of first place. Buzz across sports radio, the delis, the libraries, the bus stops and dry cleaning establishments that our pitching might not be good enough to carry us to the playoffs. This was when we needed our multi-millionaire free agent prize to stand tall, set our minds at ease, and shut down his former team in the comfy confines of his home park.
That’s what we needed. It’s not what we got.
David Price was not entirely ineffective last night. In fact, the record will show that he went six innings giving up only three runs, and that’s a “quality start.” But last night, it wasn’t enough. We needed a monster on the mound. Someone to storm out of the bullpen and stomp wide feet on the grass and look into the opposing team’s dugout and say, “nothing. You’re getting nothing tonight.” We needed a stopper. We needed an ace.
Instead, Price gave up two runs out of the gate, putting the team in a hole that they’d, sadly, never dig their way out of. Even worse, he didn’t look good doing it. He seemed labored, breathing heavy (enough that even Eck asked if Price was hyperventilating), slightly fatigued.
In other words, he looked like the antithesis of a stopper. No stone cold stare of Jon Lester. No Pedro going up and in to keep you off guard. No Josh Beckett (God help us), stomping around the mound and getting more fired up with every pitch. He just ambled out there, gave up more hits than Ks including a home run, then settled into the bench, his team down as he left the hill, to watch another Red Sox bullpen implosion.
I don’t like to talk about the money, but with Price, it will always be about the money. He is being paid a truckload of cash to do one job–stop losing streaks. Last night, he kept our losing streak alive. That’s called not doing your job.
I could go on about Koji and how the offense conjured nothing against Dickey or how close I came to putting a fist through the window when Xander struck out to end the game and his hitting streak, but what’s the point? Today’s another game. But if Price doesn’t find some spark and our pitching issues continue unaddressed, this could be one long-ass, hot summer.