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Chris Sale's dominance doesn't help David Price

Alex Reimer
July 12, 2018 - 11:45 am
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Chris Sale isn’t doing David Price any favors. Every Sale outing is an electric affair, complete with ferocious fastballs and double-digit K's. It’s quite the contrast to Price, who’s sheepishly exited his last two starts after allowing five home runs and hitting three batters in one inning. 

Ripping on Price is repetitive. He’s victim of the Red Sox’ sheer dominance and stability. They’re steamrolling the American League and on-pace to win well over 100 games. Without him, there would be almost nothing to complain about, save for Jackie Bradley’s slumps. 

Unfortunately for Price, whenever Sale takes the hill, it’s a reminder of everything an ace should be. Sale’s night ended Wednesday when he fanned Rangers first baseman Ryan Rua with 98 mph heat, striking out 12 batters for the second straight start. Over his last five outings, Sale has allowed just three runs and struck out 59 hitters in 34 innings pitched. One of those starts was a shutout effort against the Yankees, with 11 strikeouts to boot. 

Price can tell Dan Shaughnessy he’s just had “some bad games” against the Yankees “a few times.” But in a Red Sox uniform, Price has an 8.43 ERA in nine starts against the Bombers. He’s severely downplaying the problem.

Sale was bad in his lone career playoff start last season, but overall, he’s been even better than advertised. So far, Sale has a 2.65 ERA and is averaging 13 strikeouts per nine innings with the Sox. Price’s ERA with the Red Sox, meanwhile, is 3.99. He also only made nine starts last season due to elbow and arm troubles, pitching out of the bullpen in late September and October. 

While Price was dominant out of the pen, the most expensive pitcher in baseball history should be starting games in the playoffs. And yes, the money absolutely matters. That’s how expectations are set.

Once again, Price has the job Thursday of following one of Sale’s masterpieces. It only makes him look worse. 

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