Despite their first place rank, the Red Sox have an uphill battle ahead of them as they close in on the postseason.
Though we’ve recently seen the Sox struggle against the Yankees and the Indians (arguably the strongest opposing forces coming out of the American League), Boston is continuing to claw their way towards an AL East Championship. For the Sox to be successful in the playoffs, a lot of things will need to go right, with the biggest one being the pitching situation.
Southpaw David Price has been sidelined since July 28 due to a left elbow injury. Price finished out the summer in rehab with the Sox medical staff, hopeful that he would make a return to the mound to finish out the season.
This past weekend, seven weeks since he last took the field, Price relieved starting pitcher Chris Sale and threw two perfect innings out of the bullpen against the Tampa Bay Rays. Although the Sox lost 3-2, the game was a positive indicator of what’s possible for the lefty in the coming weeks.
Post game, Price was not in the least shocked by his performance. Boston fans and media might be put off by the pitcher’s attitude, but with a performance like that to back it up, there’s no reason for anyone to complain.
“Done this for a long time,” Price told the local Boston media. “My last bullpens, my last live [batting practice sessions] were really good. That mound is still 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate. I wasn’t surprised.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell, on the other hand, was pleasantly surprised and impressed.
“From the power to the touch and feel, I’m amazed that someone can pitch — hasn’t pitched in a game in seven weeks — come out with that kind of command and throw three, four pitches for strikes,” Farrell said.
The bar is set high for Price heading into October. If his confidence is any indicator of what we can expect from him in the upcoming weeks, Red Sox Nation should be ready for an exciting postseason.