BOSTON — When one looks at the body of work that David Price has put in so far this season, one really has to tip their cap toward No. 24.
I'm serious: Price is 13-6 so far with 142 strikeouts in 2018, and while he’s deflecting the thought of additional pressure given Chris Sale’s return to the disabled list Saturday — "I’m making $32 million. It don’t matter. It don’t change what I’m doing; I’ve got enough pressure on me,” he said in the locker room afterward — you have to think that the Red Sox’ No. 2 in the starting rotation is quietly looking forward to this stretch run. With his performances over the last six starts, including a perfect 3-0 since the All-Star break, it feels like he wants to silence the doubters of the last two-and-a-half seasons. He wants to truly earn his salary and get the ring that has evaded him throughout his career.
On Saturday night, he took another step toward that goal, gutting out a big W on the Fenway mound as the Red Sox won his seventh-straight start and improved to 15-2 in his past 17.
Some of the numbers against the Rays might not be too impressive: Price went to five three-ball counts, a couple of times consecutively to put himself in a bit of a bind against a weak-hitting Rays team; and granted, he wasn’t exactly too efficient, with three 20-pitch frames.
But when he needed that out pitch — boy, he gave it.