Game 69, Mariners at Red Sox
Taijuan Walker vs. David Price, 10:35am
The Red Sox have been great thus far, which probably means David Price’s slow start’s gotten less, uh, attention than it otherwise would. The Sox offense really has covered a multitude of, if not sins, then disappointments. Carson Smith’s been hurt, and now languishes on the 60-day DL. Last year’s big FA targets, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, were disappointing, and Sandoval lost his job to an unheralded rookie, and is now on the DL himself. And Price, who inked a 7-year $217 million deal this offseason, is struggling a bit with home runs.
To be fair, he’s righted the ship a bit; his ERA’s fine in June after a disastrous April. But that doesn’t mean everything’s back to normal. Even in June, he’s given up 5 dingers despite facing fewer than 100 batters. His FIP was brilliant back in April, when Price was undone mostly by BABIP and sequencing. But as his ERA results have improved, his FIP has been dropping down to meet his ERA. Even now, his fielding independent stats are quite a bit better than his actual results, but it’s tough to know what to make of Price right now.
The same’s true of Tai Walker, of course, just without the pedigree, contract, or lengthy MLB career. Walker still looks maddeningly inconsistent – dominant in one start, and then hittable and unable to get out of big innings in the next. Walker’s been remarkably dinger-prone this year, but at least his actual runs allowed aren’t close to what FIP would expect. Still, this is a big game and a big stage, and after yesterday’s somewhat predictable loss (though Sampson pitched pretty well), the M’s could really use a game-stealing performance from Walker.
1: Marte, SS
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Lee, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Iannetta, C
8: Martin, CF
9: O’Malley, LF
Go read Larry Stone’s great piece on Mel Stottlemeyer Sr. and Jr. on this Father’s Day. Just a little dusty over here, that’s all.