Reimer: See, David Price? It's not so hard to be loved in Boston after all

Alex Reimer
August 23, 2018 - 10:03 pm

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports


David Price has unlocked the secret to being beloved in Boston.

Pitch well.

Price received two standing ovations from the Fenway Faithful when he exited the mound Thursday –– once in the seventh and again in the eighth –– en route to one of his best performances ever. The most expensive pitcher in baseball history scattered three hits and walked nobody in eight shutdown innings against the Indians, which is the second time he’s accomplished that in his career. As Price said after the game, he’s finally living up to his record-setting contract –– during the summer months, at least. 

“This is the pitcher Boston signed,” he told reporters, per the Globe. “For me to get back to that, it’s about time.’”

There’s still questions about Price, starting with the fact he’s winless in nine career playoff starts. He’s been charged with five runs or more in five of them, including his three-inning debacle against the Indians in 2016.

Price also remains a significant long-term risk. The 32-year-old hurler never surgically repaired his ailing elbow, even though doctors say he would’ve likely undergone Tommy John surgery last year if he was younger. It’s far too early to cheerlead the possibility of Price remaining in Boston for the next four years at more than $30 million per season.

But at this moment in time, Price is perhaps the best pitcher in baseball. In six starts since the All-Star Break, he’s 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA, 40 strikeouts, and 7 walks. The atrocious eight-run, five-home run start at Yankee Stadium on July 1 is now a distant memory. 

Last week, Price told members of the assembled baseball press corps to find out for themselves the adjusments he’s made. They played along, and WBZ’s Jonny Miller came back with three findings: Price is standing on the first base side of the rubber, throwing fewer fastballs and using both sides of the plate. 

Not bad for one of the guys who Price has verbally spit on for the better part of this season. 

There’s no doubt Price has endured a substantial amount of criticism in Boston. But that’s to be expected when you flame out in the playoffs, miss three months due to injury, accost a Hall of Famer on a team plane and stink against the Yankees. 

It only took six good starts in July and August to erase all of that stink. This was easy to see coming, too. Fans showered Price with applause after four shoutout innings of relief against the Astros last postseason.

Those who follow and cover the Red Sox have been dying to embrace Price. All he had to do was give them a reason to.