First impressions of the Red Sox' 8-5 loss to Los Angeles:
David Price’s outing would’ve been poor -- even without the mistakes behind him.
After coming out hot in the first two innings, a switch seemingly went off in Price -- and not in a good way.
Of his 38 pitches through the first three frames, 26 were strikes. In the next two innings, Price threw 62 pitches, 33 strikes.
The two at-bats came against a 28-year-old making his MLB debut, Rob Segedin.
In both cases, Price got behind 2-0, seeming to nibble in the first instance, and just plain wild in the second. Then he came with thigh fastballs both times. And they were both hit well, knocking in runs. You would’ve thought Price was pitching against the Hall of Fame Dodger Mike Piazza the way he handled Segedin.
Those are at-bats where top-notch pitchers assert their dominance on hitters.
To have it happen twice in a game -- against the same batter -- is inexcusable to say the least.
Brandon McCarthy’s wild ways wound up being effective.
Although he wasn’t the textbook definition of effectively wild, he only held Boston to two hits in his short outing -- both courtesy of Andrew Benintendi.
But it was clear that Boston hitters were uncomfortable against McCarthy. And honestly, they had every reason to be.
He was showing some tell tale signs of the yips -- the mental block when players have no idea of where they’re throwing the ball.
Not something to joke about -- and extremely unsettling for a hitter.
Add this loss to the long 2016 list of “games that got away.”
Losing two of three to a Clayton Kershaw-less Dodgers is unacceptable.
But this just marks an end to a road trip filled with games that got away from Boston, including all three of Price’s starts on this West Coast trip.
Andrew Benintendi showed where all the hype is coming from.
The rookie didn’t waste time notching his first three-hit game. Nor did he mess around when he came up in clutch situations.
So not only did he display his talent -- lacing his hits to both sides of the field -- but he also showed maturity beyond his years.
Or maybe he’s still so excited that he couldn’t get caught up in the moment.
Either way, a great sign for the rookie.
Junichi Tazawa’s fastball still hasn’t bounced back.
The righty was able to get his fastball into the mid-90s earlier this season, but wasn’t throwing any harder than 91.
Can’t exactly work up in the zone when you’re topping out at that velocity.
What’s more important though is he’s slowly starting to prove to Boston that he’s not going to be a reliable option down the stretch.
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar