Red Sox

From malcontent to masterful: How David Price became indispensable to the Red Sox

From malcontent to masterful: How David Price became indispensable to the Red Sox

Somebody should rummage through the discarded laundry of the 2014 Red Sox and find a t-shirt that's only to be worn on the days David Price pitches.

"He's the Ace."

Three years after signing a record $217 million contract and two years after watching it nearly all burn, Price has claimed his place atop the Red Sox rotation in a comeback that might not reach Tiger Woods levels, but certainly deserves its own extended golf clap.

A one-time candidate for highest-paid malcontent in sports, Price has emerged from his darkest days in Boston to stabilize the defending World Series champions.

On Sunday, he gave the team exactly what it needed following Saturday's listless loss to the Orioles, tossing seven shutout innings and making one measly run stand in a 4-0 victory.

It was easily his best start of a season that had seen him pitch better than the 0-2 record and 6.00 ERA he carried into the game. Months after exorcizing his postseason demons and declaring that he held all the cards, Price found himself dealing again, and not a moment too soon.

"If you take a look at his starts, his stuff has been there, three pitches in Oakland, then that inning in Arizona, but stuff-wise he's way ahead of where he was last year at this point," said manager Alex Cora. "Everybody knew where we were pitching-wise today, and for him to go seven and give the ball to those last two guys, it was very important to us."

With ace Chris Sale and former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello struggling alongside postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi, the Red Sox rotation had found itself mirroring the disastrous 2014 group that claimed it had five aces when in fact it had none. These Red Sox were adrift and in need of an anchor.

Enter Price.

"Every time he takes the ball, he expects to go deep into a game and shut the other team down," said teammate Dustin Pedroia, who was in the opposing dugout during Price's coming-out party during the 2008 American League Championship Series. "That's his mentality. Today was a perfect example. I've seen it a lot of times. We've had it happen to us a lot. He was great today."

Price limited the Orioles to three hits and no walks, striking out seven. His fastball reached 94 mph and he induced 18 swings and misses with six different pitches.

Price has endured some serious slings and arrows since arriving in Boston, often of his own making. But he was the team's best pitcher down the stretch last season, going 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA after injuries shelved Sale, and then he should've won the World Series MVP Award after a narrative-shattering postseason that included a victory in the clincher.

He entered this season as the presumed No. 2 starter behind Sale, but three uncharacteristic starts from Price's fellow left-hander has left the top spot in the rotation up for grabs, and Price has snatched it.

"You look at the real numbers pitching-wise, I don't know, his WHIP is below 1.00, so that's a good sign," Cora said. "The ERA right now, obviously, that will go up and down, it's not too many innings but the numbers don't really matter, there's not too much traffic with him."

After the game, Price was asked about Tiger winning the Masters. From one redemption story to another, he offered his congratulations.

"We messed up by not wearing red today," Price said. "I'm happy he pulled that off. That's awesome. For him to endure everything he's been through and get on top and win another Masters, we're all pumped for him."

Price can relate. The Boston experience hasn't always been smooth, but at this moment, Price is exactly where he belongs. Somebody order the t-shirts.

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Celebrate 15th anniversary of epic Red Sox-Yankees 2004 ALCS Game 7 with this highlight

Celebrate 15th anniversary of epic Red Sox-Yankees 2004 ALCS Game 7 with this highlight

Can you believe it's been 15 years since the Boston Red Sox shocked the world and pulled off the most amazing comeback in Major League Baseball history?

Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of Boston's 10-3 win over the rival New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox lost 19-8 to the Yankees in Game 3 of the series at Fenway Park to fall to the brink of an embarrassing elimination. The Sox then defied the odds by winning the next four games to become the first team in MLB postseason history to win a series after trailing 0-3.

Game 7 had several memorable moments/highlights, most notably David Ortiz's two-run homer in the first inning, Johnny Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam) and Derek Lowe's excellent performance as the starting pitcher.

It all led to a huge celebration after the final out:

The Red Sox went on to win the 2004 World Series with a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, and thus breaking the "Curse of the Bambino".

The Sox have won four World Series titles since the start of the 2004 season, while the Yankees have only one championship over that span. In fact, the Yankees' Game 6 ALCS loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday night marks New York's fourth consecutive ALCS series loss, which ties an MLB record. The 2010s also are the first decade since the 1910s in which the Yankees failed to reach a World Series.

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Ex-Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright to undergo Tommy John surgery

Ex-Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright to undergo Tommy John surgery

Steven Wright's Red Sox career came to an end on Friday, and it'll be a while before the knuckleballer makes his return to the mound.

Shortly after being released by Boston, Wright revealed to WEEI's Rob Bradford he will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday to repair the torn UCL in his right elbow.

"I'm fully committed to rehab and making a comeback," Wright told Bradford. "I feel better than I have ever and want to get back to a position I haven't been in since 2016, which is healthy. My sole focus is to get healthy and stay focused."

Wright made only six appearances for the Red Sox in 2019 as he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in January and served an 80-game suspension. The 35-year-old also served a 15-game suspension in 2018 for violating the league's domestic violence policy.

Wright posted a 24-16 record with a 3.86 ERA in 81 total appearances during his tenure in Boston.

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