Former teammate Chris Archer (right) predicts David Price will bounce back in a big way from Thursday's rough start. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

How will David Price bounce back from Thursday? Chris Archer predicts complete-game shutout

Ryan Hannable
April 21, 2016 - 3:21 pm
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Few pitchers in baseball know David Price as well as Chris Archer does. Archer and Price were teammates in Tampa Bay from 2012 until Price was traded at the trade deadline in 2014, and both are among the best pitchers in baseball. Price uncharacteristically struggled Thursday against his former team, allowing eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings. Archer is confident Price will bounce back in a big way. "He'll throw a [complete-game shutout] next game," Archer told WEEI.com. "It's hard to say [why he struggled] because he does a good job of competing even when he doesn't have his best stuff," Archer added. "Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team and just say, 'Hey, those guys on the other side of the ball are big leaguers too. They are here for a reason.' [The Rays] do exceptionally well against left-handed pitching. More so than trying to always find fault in what the starter does, tip your cap, move on and say it was a bad game against a good team." With Price opening the year with a 7.06 ERA through four starts, Archer acknowledged Boston fans might have some concerns with their $217 million pitcher, but he said not to worry. "It's April," Archer said. "Every pitcher has ups and down and ebbs and flows, but we make 34, 35 starts for a reason, and at the end of those starts you'll get your consistent, high-level star pitcher that you expect." Within the eight runs he allowed, Price allowed two home runs -- one to Evan Longoria and one to No. 9 hitter Curt Casali, who now has three homers off Price in his career. Coming into the at-bat, Longoria had never recorded a hit off his former teammate. "Finally to get a hit off of him, he had pretty much owned me before that," Longoria said. "I never really felt comfortable in the box against him, which is pretty rare facing a lefty for me. The biggest part of his success is locating all of his pitches at any time and today I just think he struggled with that. A lot of the hits were balls that he miss over the plate. We were able to capitalize on that." Longoria said it's not often a pitcher like Price struggles like he did, so he was happy the Rays were able to catch him on a bad day. "Everyone struggles. He's one of the elite pitchers," Longoria said. "More times than not he's going to go out there and give you a quality start. I'm just happy we got to him today." In four starts against the Rays since being traded, Price has an ERA of 6.89. Manager Kevin Cash said it's nothing the Rays see against him, just a bit of good luck. "I don't think so. Our guys just put up good at-bats," manager Kevin Cash said. "There was nothing we saw. He's just a really good pitcher that is going to have obviously plenty of success. Fortunately for us, we got to him today."