Game 85: Red Sox at New York Yankees (July 1, 2018)

Thank goodness the rest of my day was great and that it balanced out the putrid performance of the Red Sox. I spent the day at the softball fields with my wife, kids, and my visiting parents watching my oldest daughter play in her tournament. Her team played extremely well over the entire weekend and ended up finishing in second place out of eight teams. They went 5-2 for the weekend and lost a hard fought championship game. She brought home another trophy and while she was hot, dirty, and exhausted by the end I couldn't be more proud of her. Upon returning home, I turned on the horror show that was the Red Sox and for some bizarre reason, watched all the way to the bitter end.

I now know that I was foolish to have thought that David Price might finally prove all of us in Red Sox Nation wrong and actually deliver in a high-pressure situation on a national stage. Instead of standing tall and dominating, he was like a candle under a heat lamp, melting into a puddle of goo. It was a disaster from the beginning as Aaron Judge launched a solo homer in the bottom of the first, followed by a three-run blast from Gleyber Torres. 4-0 Yankees and it was all over from there. Price gave up another homer, a two run shot to Aaron Hicks in the second, and then gave up two more home runs in the fourth: a solo shot to Kyle Higashioka and another to Hicks. By then it was 8-0 and David Price's reputation as a choker in clutch situations was cemented beyond repair. Unless he someday goes undefeated during an entire run to a World Series and absolutely dominates, his reputation will be in tatters forever. The guy just doesn't have that IT factor that so many others do. The rest of this game was mop-up duty from the bullpen. Justin Haley gave up a couple more runs and Hicks hit his third home run of the game in the eighth off of Hector Velazquez. The Red Sox avoided the ultimate embarrassment of being shut out when Rafael Devers drove in Sandy Leon on a fielder's choice in the ninth. The final score was 11-1 Yankees and now we're all tied up in the division again. For the Yankees, Luis Severino was masterful and the Red Sox bats couldn’t do anything all night. They were partly to blame for the loss, but when your starter gets blasted the way Price did, it just makes it that much harder. 

The Red Sox loss was ugly enough on its own, but that's baseball and they're still in great shape overall. It was David Price confirming all of his critics that he just can't handle pitching in Boston and on the biggest stage. His final line was disgustingly ugly: 3.1 innings, eight runs on nine hits (including FIVE home runs), and only striking out three. Pathetically, it would have been more shocking had he pitched well than the final result which we were all expecting (and which we got). There's nothing to do but move on from this one and go into the next series looking to win more games. Still, the stink of Price will linger around this team all season and mark my words, it will bite them in the ass come playoff time. The guy just can't win when it matters.