Boston Red Sox Mound Notes: David Price leading team to a resurrection

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 21: David Price #10 of the Boston Red Sox throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 21: David Price #10 of the Boston Red Sox throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox lefty David Price is playing the role as team ace as Chris Sale works to get things right and return to his dominant ways.

While the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins did their thing to excite fans on Easter Sunday, the Boston Red Sox delivered their own reasons for optimism with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field Sunday afternoon.

Behind the strong pitching performance of former Rays ace David Price, the Red Sox toughed out a 4-3 extra innings victory reminiscent of the baseball the team played during their World Series run in 2018.

Has the team finally awakened from an early season hangover?

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At 9-13 there is still quite a ways to go for that, but sweeping the AL East leading Rays is a great start and the overall solid pitching of Price has kept the team a float and is vital for the team’s resurrection in 2019 with the struggles of Chris Sale and the injury to Nathan Eovaldi.

In a no-decision, David Price continued to be solid on the mound.  In allowing just two runs on two walks and five hits, the lefty showed he can still overpower hitters by fanning 10 Rays batters in his five innings pitched.

Price didn’t get the win, but he delivered another start in which he kept the team in the game and continues to set the tone for a starting pitching rotation that has struggled out of the gate but has been much better over the last week.

Although the team did blow the lead in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game, they did bounce back and grind it out.  Along with the performance of David Price, it is all signs of optimism for Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

"“Played good baseball,” Cora said following the game, via the Boston Herald.  “We’ve been saying all along we need to get better at a lot of things.  Starts with the rotation.  “David (Price) grinded it out today.  They put some good at-bats.  But gave us five and the bullpen was outstanding.  Just one pitch.  We’ll take that pitch in any at-bat with that guy on the mound.”"

In winning their first series of the season, the Boston Red Sox prevented themselves from being buried even deeper to start the season.  Led by David Price and the starting pitching in the series, they also showed signs of turning back into that team that won 108 games just a season ago.

Sale looks for a victory

Speaking of a resurrection, Red Sox fans will be extra joyous if Chris Sale finds his dominant ways.

With a start to the season that he has labeled “flat-out embarrassing,” the lefty looks to build on the team’s current three-game winning streak by securing his first win of the season.

Hard to believe a pitcher like Chris Sale is still searching for a win in his fifth start, but it is what it is, and the veteran flame thrower just has to work through his struggles on the mound.

The positive is that his velocity is back up.  With an 8.50 ERA, the problem with Sale seems to be more of focus on the mound.  He’ll put it all together at some point and Monday against the Detroit Tigers to start a homestand would be a great time to do so.

Surgery in store Nathan Eovaldi?

Chris Sale isn’t the only pitcher with a new contract struggling to deliver on the mound for the Boston Red Sox.

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Nathan Eovaldi has also struggled, but more concerning at the moment is a right elbow injury that has landed him on the 10-day injured list.  While the team is exploring other treatment options for the loose bodies in the elbow, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has not ruled out surgery.

Certainly not ideal for Eovaldi or the team, but an option that would lead to the hard-throwing righty landing on the injured list for a short period of time versus taking a risk that Nathan Eovaldi will worsen as the season goes along.

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In summary, it is beneficial for the Boston Red Sox to come back stronger later in the season rather than potentially lose him for the entire season, especially with what he showed he can do in the postseason.