David Price's seemingly never-ending struggles vs the Yankees are bound to end at some point, at least according to one former Red Sox ace.
Following his most recent loss on July 1 to the Bronx Bombers, whom he has an 8.43 ERA against (44 earned runs, 47 innings) in nine starts as a member of the Red Sox, Price told reporters he needed to reinvent himself against the Yanks. "It's time for me to go back to that drawing board and reinvent myself against these guys," he said.
Former Red Sox southpaw Jon Lester, now with the Cubs, doesn't believe that's the case. He explained why at the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
"The reinventing thing I think gets a little overused," Lester told MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. "Because it's not like you're going out there and saying, 'OK, I'm throwing a split today and I've never thrown one.' So you're still working with the same pitches. It may be just sequence a little bit differently."
Lester also pointed out that Price is far from the only pitcher to have significant issues against a particular team.
"We all have trouble against teams," he said. "We all have that one team that kicks our ass and for whatever reason you can't figure it out. Sometimes it's better to go out there and go, 'You know what? Screw it. I'm not grinding this one. I'm just trying to execute one pitch at a time.' And a lot of times when that happens, you look up and you're like, 'Oh, man. I threw the ball pretty well tonight.'"
The Cubs lefty went on to discuss what goes through a pitcher's mind when they take the mound versus a team they historically struggle against.
"When you struggle against a team, it's kind of like, 'OK, when's it going to happen? I got through the first. Is it going to happen in the second? Now I got through the second. OK, now is it going to happen in the third?' Now all of a sudden, base hit to right. 'Damn, OK. Is this the inning?' A walk. 'Oh, man. Yankee Stadium. Got a righty up.' Boom. Three-run homer. And now you're like, 'OK, here it is.' Now you look up and you've given up six."
As much as it could be a real mental issue, Lester is confident Price is about to turn it around, and that "reinventing himself" isn't necessary.
"No, I don't think David Price needs to reinvent himself. I think he's a pretty darn good pitcher and he's been one for a while. I'm sure from what I've heard about him as far as his work ethic and how he goes about his craft, I'm sure he'll figure out the Yankees at some point."