David Price has a chance for his first “ace” moment to show Boston he’s truly the pitcher they paid for.
The bullpen is spent after giving up the game late Saturday, to go with the team dealing with a three game skid -- the longest since their three-game losing streak from April 17th – April 19th.
On top of the Sox not having lost four-straight yet in 2016, Price is back at the Rogers Centre for the first time since his playoff run with the Blue Jays last year.
So this game should have a playoff feel to it -- as much as one can in late May -- especially with the Toronto picking up steam.
And lastly for Price, he’s started to figure things out since making a mechanical adjustment following his atrocious 4.2 inning start against the Yankees earlier in the month.
But he hasn’t had to throw against a top of the line offense yet.
The lefty dominated Houston, much like everyone has this year and also did well against Colorado.
In between those two he did face a strong opponent in Kansas City, but the Royals still haven’t completely gotten things together (although they did mount a ridiculous comeback Saturday against the White Sox).
Toronto’s scored over seven runs in three of their last four, winning all four of those games and seven of the last 10 contests -- putting them four games behind Boston in the AL East standings.
Price does have a few things going for him entering Sunday’s contest.
He threw well against his old team earlier this year -- seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and zero walks -- when his mechanics weren’t where he wanted them.
Also after being traded to Detroit from Tampa Bay in 2014, Price was dominant in his returning start at Tropicana Field.
Although he took the loss 1-0, the lefty dealt, chucking a one-hitter over eight innings, striking out nine without walking a batter -- and the one run off of him was unearned.
Price has yet to pitch at Comerica Park since leaving the Tigers, so that’s something Boston may deal with later in the year, too.
Now Price has to block all of this from his mind and execute pitches, in what is his biggest test this point in the season.
A lot for him to ignore in what could’ve easily been a regular start had Boston’s bullpen done its job Sunday -- but then again, this is a part of the price of being an ace.