Lefty frustrated by command issues but upbeat overall
By Maureen Mullen
Special to MLB.com |
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Price could not remember the last time he issued five walks in a game -- Spring Training or regular season. That's probably because the last time he did so in the regular season was almost five years ago, June 16, 2011, while with the Rays against -- the Red Sox. Those five free passes were one shy of his career high, which was in 2009.
Now the Red Sox ace, Price gave out five walks Friday night in a 6-3 win over the Pirates. He went five innings, plus one batter in the sixth, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits with three strikeouts. He needed 89 pitches, 48 for strikes, in his outing.
His line may look very un-Price-like, but he was satisfied with his outing.
"I felt really good," he said. "That's the best I've felt in a couple weeks. I was getting out in front of myself, not finishing my pitch off, being up in the zone. But body-wise felt really good."
Manager John Farrell was happy with what he saw.
"He was strong, up to 90 pitches tonight, which was the goal," Farrell said. "Not as sharp as a couple of starts here of late, but I thought he threw a high number of backdoor cutters to some right-handers that is I think pretty much a signature pitch for him to get back in some counts. But still he made some big pitches when he had men in scoring position. I thought a solid work for him here tonight."
And those five walks? Price had trouble commanding his pitches.
"It was all of them," he said. "It wasn't just one. Even when I got ahead, I let them right back in the count. Not throwing enough strikes, and that's definitely something I take a lot of pride in doing, pounding that zone, getting our offense back in that dugout so they can score runs. Didn't do a good job of that today. It's going to get there."
How does he balance how he felt with the command issues?
"Those are the days that are frustrating," he said. "You feel really good, your arm, your entire body feels strong and ready to go, and you get out there and you walk people. I'd rather give up hits and make guys earn first base or second base. But just getting everything going in the right direction today, didn't throw it the way that I know I can throw it. Five walks, that's unacceptable.
"It's part of it, and I'll get better."
There's little worry of that.
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.