An ace is supposed to take the mound when his team is faltering and deliver a dominant performance. Last night, that is exactly what the $217 million man, David Price, did. Price delivered eight shutout innings of baseball, mowing down a weak Angels lineup. While Price did relinquish seven hits, they were spread out and harmless. Price did get into trouble in the fifth inning, but, with the bases loaded, was able to get a strike out and get out of the inning unscathed.
Unfortunately, Angels starter Jered Weaver was able to be just as effective as Price, mowing down the best lineup in all of baseball. Like Price, Weaver gave up a lot of hits (6), but was able to spread them out. In 5.2 innings, Weaver gave up only one run, while striking out two. This is especially disappointing because Weaver can barely throw his fastball 85 MPH, and has been terrible during various starts this season.
The real drama came in the ninth inning, when now-closer Brad Ziegler took to the mound for a three-out save. Unfortunately, Ziegler relinquished three hits to load the bases. With one out in the inning, a ground ball was hit to Hanley Ramirez, who airmailed the throw over catcher Sandy Leon and cost the Red Sox the game. While Ramirez needs to make a better throw there, he played great defense throughout the entire game. Additionally, this is only his fourth error of the season, which, all things considered, is fine by me.
The Red Sox need to do a better job of capitalizing on great starts from David Price. He deserved this win, and it is a disservice to him that the Red Sox were not able to score more than one run, then cough up the lead on shady defense. You can blame Hanley Ramirez for his errant throw, you can blame Brad Ziegler for not being able to get an easy save against a terrible team, and you can blame the offense for not being able to muster up more than one run.
However, I have seen people blaming John Farrell for this loss and I just cannot get behind that. Sure, one could argue that he should have left David Price in the game for the ninth inning, but the fact of the matter is that he was at 109 pitches and clearly laboring towards the end of the game. I may have thrown Price out there to start the ninth and pull him if he gave up a hit, but, at this point in time, Brad Ziegler is the Red Sox' best reliever. If you don't trust him against a team like the Angels, how can you trust him in October?
Next up, the Red Sox will be back at it for the second game of this four-game set against the Angels. First pitch is set for 10:05 ET. Check back in for a full game preview.