Entering Wednesday as one of the hottest pitchers in the American League since the All-Star break, all eyes turned to David Price to see how he would fare in a place he has seemingly struggled in since he joined the Red Sox two seasons ago.
Making his second start in the Bronx this season, the left-hander, albeit it was not all on him, had his fair share of difficulties once again to continue this frustrating pattern.
Pitching into the sixth inning of yesterday’s contest, Price surrendered six runs, four of which were earned, on five hits, three of which were home runs, while tying a season-high in walks with four of them on the night. He also struck out just two batters.
To make matters worse, some of this damage could have been avoided if it were not for Eduardo Nunez’s defensive blunder at third base in the second inning.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge appeared to have recorded the final out of the frame on a routine ground ball to third base. Instead of fielding it though, Eduardo Nunez, who was making his first start at third since exiting last Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays with right knee soreness, misplayed the hop and let the ball roll to left field.
That allowed both Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit to come around and score, and instead of escaping the bottom of the third trailing by a lone run, Price and the Red Sox found themselves down by three.
Things would not get easier for the Tennessee native after that mishap though, and that was mostly due to the efforts of Yankees first baseman Luke Voit.
Voit, who had only faced Price three times before Wednesday, ripped dinky home runs in two of the three at bats he had against him.
Miguel Andujar homered off of Price in the first inning as well, meaning that in two starts at Yankee Stadium this season, the 33-year-old has served up EIGHT home runs to Yankees hitters over just 8.2 total innings pitched.
For what its worth, the three home runs last night traveled 340′, 341′ and 343′ respectively. Not exactly moonshots.
And I know we like to complain about the ridiculous dimensions that ballpark has, but it’s still concerning to see one of the better pitchers in the American League struggle so much in one specific place.
Dating back to when he signed with Boston prior tot he 2016 season, Price has made six starts in a Red Sox uniform at Yankee Stadium over a three-season span. In those starts, he has given up 35 runs (33 earned) on 52 hits (13 home runs) and 13 walks to go along with 16 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. That’s good for a 9.87 ERA.
Just this season alone, opponents are slashing .342/.400/.976 off the former first round pick when he pitches at Yankee Stadium.
The good thing is Price won’t have to pitch a Yankee Stadium again, at least for the remainder of the regular season.
Falling to 15-7 with his ERA jumping up to 3.53 ERA on the year following a blowout 10-1 loss, Price will look to get back on track in his second to last start of the regular season, which will come against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox will look to clinch the American League East once again later tonight, as they send Eduardo Rodriguez out to take on Masahiro Tanaka and a 93-58 Yankees team.
First pitch of the series finale in the Bronx is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET Thursday.