BOSTON -- If ever there was a night David Price needed to keep the ball on the ground, it was Saturday, when gusty conditions at Fenway Park made every ball that went in the air an adventure. But the lefty ace couldn't execute his game plan, and his frustration mounted in an 11-9 loss to the Twins.
Price got a no decision and actually left the game with a 7-5 lead. But that didn't make him feel any better.
Now 21 starts into his first season with the Red Sox, Price has a 4.51 ERA.
"It's been terrible," said Price. "No fun. It's awful."
The left-hander, who gave up 11 hits and five runs over 5 2/3 innings, didn't want to hear about the wind.
"That wasn't a factor," said Price. "I mean, if anything it's going to make my offspeed pitches move more and I didn't use it the right way. On days like that you have to get the ball on the ground and I wasn't able to do that."
After a similar start against the Yankees in his last outing, Price hoped he could make the necessary adjustments.
"He focused his in-between start work on trying to leverage the ball downhill, trying to get back to the bottom of the strike zone with some consistency," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "That was inconsistent in the first few innings. I thought he settled in in the third through the fifth, and we're in an advantage on the scoreboard, but with the pitch count where it was, getting to the fourth time through the order, we went to the bullpen in that spot, and then in the seventh inning, things got away from us."
With the inconsistency Price has displayed, perhaps it isn't surprising he's been asked after just about every shaky outing if he has any health issue. His answer remained the same as the other times he was asked.
"Honestly I feel good, I feel healthy," said Price. "I feel good out there on the mound. I feel confident. I'm just not making good pitches. That's what it boils down to. You can feel bad out there and still go out there and execute pitches and get good results. It doesn't matter how good you feel if you don't go out there and execute."
Yes, Price is disappointed. But this doesn't mean he feels defeated.
"I'm still confident in myself, absolutely," Price said. "I'd go out there and pitch tomorrow if they'd let me. My confidence is not altered. I don't listen to the outside noise. I know my teammates and the coaching staff have a lot of confidence in me. I haven't really given them reason to have a lot of confidence in me this year. I just have to pitch better."
Next time Price takes mound will be Thursday night in Anaheim against the Angels.
"Never relax the four days in between starts," said Price. "Whether you're pitching good or you're pitching bad, you have to go to work. That's what I'll do, that's what I've done and I'll continue to do that."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.