Inside the numbers on Price's recent success
"This is the pitcher Boston signed. So for me to get back to that, it's about time."
That's how David Price summed up his recent stretch of games after his latest gem, hurling eight innings of shutout ball against the Indians as the Red Sox won 7-0, their 90th win of the season. (Not bad considering no other team has 80 wins yet).
Price's recent success leads the way as we go inside the numbers on the Sox-Indians series.
Price lights out since All-Star break
With Chris Sale on the D.L. for the second time in four weeks, Price has stepped up and pitched like an ace since the All-Star break.
He's a perfect 4-0 in six starts with an ERA of just 1.09, the best in the American League over that stretch. Even more importantly, Boston is undefeated in those games, including wins over the Indians, Yankees and Phillies -- all teams vying for the postseason.
Price's last 18 starts
Price's run of good games goes even further back than that, however. (Aside from that absolute stinker against the Yankees and a start in Kansas City where he plunked three Royals in the 5th inning... but let's not worry about that right now.)
Over his last 18 starts, Price has racked up a 12-2 record with a 2.96 ERA, with the Sox going 16-2 in those games. Boston has won 19 games Price has started this season; only one pitcher in baseball has started more team wins in 2018 (Luis Severino - 20).
Price owns the Indians
Price's track record against the Yankees has been well-documented (0-2, 12.19 ERA this season), but he continues to have success against the Indians -- a good sign if these teams square off in the postseason for the second time in three years.
His 2.06 career ERA in 15 games against the Tribe is the lowest among active starters (min. 10 starts), and he's gone 6-1 with a 1.26 ERA against Cleveland since 2014.
Red Sox refuse to lose a series
Now let's move on from Price. When the Red Sox dropped games on Monday and Tuesday, they were staring at their first series loss since the beginning of July.
But thanks to 10-4 and 7-0 wins, Boston salvaged a split of the 4-game set, extending the team's streak of unbeaten series. The Sox are 10-0-4 in their last 14 series -- the team's longest streak without a loss since 1972 (10-0-6).
Bullpen problems in Cleveland
Flash back to Tuesday night. Fans were worried about Andrew Miller and the rest of the arms in Terry Francona's bullpen. But the last two games served as a good reminder why Cleveland ranks 27th in bullpen ERA this season.
The Sox knocked both starters out of the game before the 6th inning and continued to torch the pen, scoring six runs on 13 hits over eight innings -- a far cry from the first two games of the series.
The teams meet once more this season, a 3-game series from September 21-23 in Cleveland.