An ace does many things; throws gas, goes deep into games, but one of the biggest and most important things is stopping a losing streak. And last night, against the defending World Series champions, that is exactly what David Price did.
Last night, the Red Sox were able to salvage the last game of this quick three-game road trip in Kansas City. Price was able to prevent a clean sweep from the defending champs, tossing 7.1 innings, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out five and walking just one batter. The second run allowed by Price came from an inherited runner allowing to score by Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning on a poor pitch that was hit up the middle for a base hit into center field.
The Royals aren't the best hitting lineup, but they are extremely tough to strikeout and consistently mow down. Price has now put two dominant performances together, but I am not ready to say he is one of the best pitchers in baseball again. Price was nearly perfect last night, and I can only remember one poorly located pitch (a meatball right down the middle on a Salvador Perez home run in the 4th inning), but we need a larger sample size before we can say he will be leading Boston's pitching staff to a World Series. Nevertheless, David Price has a 1.42 ERA over his last 12.2 innings pitched.
Offensively, it seems as if the Red Sox have hit a lull. They are continuing to hit the baseball (10 hits), but are not driving in runs effectively (10 runners left on base). The Red Sox had a chance to bust this game wide open multiple times, but they could not finish the deal. However, if a speed bump in the Red Sox offense is only scoring five runs, then I am okay with that, especially if David Price is on the mound.
Next up, the Red Sox have an off-day Thursday and will return for a home stand against Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians starting Friday night.