Price vs. Lester: After Four Starts, Lester Clearly Better

The comparison between Price and Lester is a lot simpler after four starts: Lester is clearly having the better season. Price laid an egg on Thursday. Lester had another great outing on Friday. 

Price started Thursday afternoon against the Rays. After being spotted to a 5-1 lead in the first, Price lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out five.  He absolutely fell apart in the fourth, responsible for all six runs in that inning. His ERA now stands at 7.06. 

Lester started for the Cubs on Friday and was outstanding.  Lester went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits. He walked only one and struck out four. His ERA currently stands at 1.98. 

We’re still only four starts into the season. There’s lots of baseball to play, as underperforming teams always like to say. But so far, it’s looking like the Sox made a mistake passing on Lester and then spending all that money and more on Price. With the amount of money we’re paying Price, he has to be stellar this season or it will be difficult to say his signing wasn’t a mistake. At $31MM a year, there’s no grace period.  Note: In light of the solemnity of the situation, I am foregoing the employment of any cheap puns involving Price’s last name and his exorbitant salary.

I am a Red Sox fan and I am rooting for David Price to turn this ship around. Price is a great pitcher and he often heats up as the season progresses, so I still have a lot of hope.  So far, however, it’s impossible to say that he is anything other than a huge disappointment. 

As a Red Sox fan, I am also delighting in Lester’s success. He got his start with us. He beat cancer as a Red Sox. He didn’t go to the Yankees or even to another American League team. I am rooting for Jon Lester to have a Hall of Fame career. Keep up the good work, Jon!

As a side note, Price and Lester continue to prove the point that win/loss records are pretty meaningless. Price’s record is 2-0. Lester is 2-1. As I previously noted, Lester took the loss on a beautiful outing where he got no run support. In this most recent outing, Price once again avoided taking the loss, in spite of the fact that he blew a four run lead and left in the fourth with his team down 8-5. Because the Sox later tied it up, which they accomplished while Price was most likely in the shower bemoaning his dismal performance, Price was off the hook and Cuevas took the loss. 

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