BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.
Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.
But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.
“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”
After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation.
“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”
Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.
“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”
Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.
“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.
“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”
Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.
Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”
Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.
“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."