BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners:
David Price finally pitched like an ace, not just a number one.
While his one-run performance was that of a number one -- his third impressive start in a row -- Sunday’s outing was that of an ace because Price finally shut down the opposition after Boston scored.
Going back to his start against Madison Bumgarner, Price gave up a run right after the Red Sox had scored. In his start Tuesday, the Red Sox cut Baltimore’s lead in half at 2-1, only to see Price give up a run the next inning.
This time Price was lock down in both the seventh and the eighth, when his offense had tied the game and taken the lead in the prior innings, respectively. That’s essential to winning close games.
Additionally, his two strikeouts to finish off his eight-inning performance -- like Rick Porcello in his six-inning start Saturday -- were a nice touch. And his last pitch was a fastball, clocked at 94 MPH.
Taijuan Walker walked on a tight rope all game and the Red Sox let him off the hook.
Boston’s offense had the lead runner reach base in three of Walker’s five innings pitched. The Red Sox also had two runners reach with one out in one of the other two innings.
Walker only had one 1-2-3 inning -- his last one oddly enough.
Seattle’s starter has the ability to be a successful pitcher, but hitters tried to do a bit too much once runners reached base.
At the same time, Boston’s offense did a good job wearing Walker down.
It took the righty 88 pitches to get through three innings.
He clearly had a hard time with Boston’s lineup, and one can only imagine what might’ve happened his third time through the order -- escaping four innings that could’ve easily gone poorly for him.
Hanley Ramirez’s loose behavior will get him in trouble once in a while.
The way he was picked off in the seventh was inexcusable. But for every play like that, the Red Sox might get one like his heads up play Saturday to score a run. The mistake didn’t prove costly Sunday -- Boston can only hope that trend continues.
David Ortiz still has something left in the tank.
This isn’t a reference to his bat -- that should go without saying. But his stolen base in the seventh had the chance to play a role in the seventh had Hanley Ramirez gotten a base hit.
Either way it’s good to see Big Papi comfortably pushing his feet to the limit -- something that’s become a concern as the season has progressed.