Last night was a night to forget for David Price, but he may have known that before the game. Price has pitched historically awful at Yankee stadium in his career. Before last night start, he has posted 0-3 record with a 8.10 ERA. In five innings of work, Price allowed 8 hits, 6 ER, 2 HR, 4 K’s while giving up four walks.
Price started strong, recording the first two outs in three pitches. A first pitch fly out by Brett Gardner and Hicks popped up to Mitch Moreland at first. Then proceeded to walk Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday as Price struggled to establish the inside corner with his array of fastballs as his frustration started early in the first.
Despite the four walks, Price effectively threw 61% strikes out of 105 pitches. Out of the 27 batters he faced, he gave 20 of them first pitch strikes. He confronted home plate umpire Vic Carapazza after thinking he was squeezed in the first inning after four inside fastballs all missed the plate to Matt Holliday.
The conversation didn’t help and his commands struggles continued in the second as he walked Gary Sanchez to start the inning. Sanchez was in a 2-2 count, when a borderline pitch was called a ball, Sanchez proceeded to foul off two more pitches to later draw the walk. Then came a bloop single by Didi Gregarious to fuel the fire of frustration, as Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts had a rare instance of miscommunication. Just like most walks do, Sanchez came around the score after Brett Gardner singled on a fastball left up in the zone. At the end of the inning John Farrell came out to exchange a few words with Carapazza. He had this to say to reporters after the game, “There might have been a pitch that caught the corner for Vic was consistent in there… Just felt [Price] through some quality pitches and didn’t get the call.”
Price was throwing quality pictures all night, yet the Yankees hitters were relentless in their at-bats. The Yankees fouled off a total of 27 pitches including 12 foul tips on hitters with two strikes which drove up his pitch count. The Yankees lead the league in pitches per plate appearance with an average of 4.01 pitches an at-bat while the Red Sox are in second with an average of 3.99.
The looming frustration throughout the start was due to lack of execution on his behalf. Although 17% of of his strikes were from swing and misses, Price just didn’t seem to have his best stuff to put batters away. After not being able to establish the inside corner for a strike, Price started to leave pitches over the middle of the plate. His start was a snowball effect, and for Price it probably seemed like a never ending nightmare with nothing falling in his favor.
All night Price seemed to have his glove in his face and as a pitcher it is never a good idea to let the opposing hitters sense your fear and frustration. Sanchez smelt blood in the water and decided to take action in the bottom of the third inning with a moonshot to left-center field stretching the Yankees lead to 4. Taking another bite out of his prey, Sanchez sent another dinger to right field in his next at bat.
In Sanchez’s career against Price, he is 4-7 with all four hits being dingers. Both homers last night came off of Price mistakes after leaving several fastballs up in the zone trying to adjust to the set strike zone of Carapazza.
Price”s poor performance comes just days after a post-game tirade, accusing reporters of not fairly accessing his performances and saying he will be limiting media access. This put an even larger target on his back under the bright lights and heavy media coverage in New York City. Price was probably thinking of all the negative media coverage he was going to get after another terrible start in New York.
Price sets to bounce back against the Philadelphia Phillies next Tuesday, June 13th.