By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s important not to overreact to what was ultimately just one game for David Price. But the timing for the embattled lefty could not have been worse, as he followed up Wednesday night’s tirade against multiple reporters with one of his worst outings as a member of the Red Sox on Thursday.
Price was off from the start, walking three of the first six Yankees batters he faced. The bulk of the damage came from Gary Sanchez, who launched two loud home runs off Price and drove in five of the Yankees’ six runs scored against Price in five laborious innings.
Thankfully, for Price’s sake, there was no postgame blow-up. There was no clubhouse disappearance or covert parking lot getaway. He faced reporters like he said he would (which he didn’t even have to do if he didn’t want to) and mostly answered their questions. But when asked about the hot-button issues like his recent outbursts, Price remained relatively mum.
When asked whether the Wednesday incident affected him, Price said “Absolutely not.” When asked if he had a comment on the incident, he said “No, I don’t. I stand behind it.” That’s fine, but it was when he was asked what his emotions were like on Thursday when he gave the soundbite that the most cynical corners of the local media will extrapolate and hammer over and over on Friday.
“It was not tough at all to focus today,” said Price. “This is baseball. Stuff happens. It happens to the best of the best, and it happened to me tonight. I get to go home tonight, see my family, see my kid, see my dog, see my mother-in-law … I’ll be ready in five days.”
Price had better be ready to rebound, because he’s put himself in a position where he absolutely has to pitch well. No, not for the media, but for his teammates. For the organization. He said in Dan Shaughnessy’s now-infamous Boston Globe column on Wednesday: “I love this team. We’ve got a really good team. I like the organization. Everybody’s been there for me for the entire time through the ups and downs. Everything. They’ve shown a tremendous amount of support for me, so I’m going to give it back.”
He owed it to the Red Sox to pitch well after the way he acted on Wednesday. He most certainly did not. But again, it’s just one bad start. He has plenty of time to turn things around, but also a sudden urgency to prove that he’s not unraveling. On a night where Price cornered himself into a need to take command on the mound, he picked the worst possible night to fail.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.