When the Los Angeles Dodgers held an introductory press conference after their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, David Price expressed equal excitement over his health and chance to also contribute at the plate by arriving in the National League.
“You’re 2-for-your-last 4, though,” Mookie Betts interjected as Price was detailing the opportunities he would have to bat. Price retorted, “2-for-my-last-3.”
Price wound up opting out of the 2020 season because of concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and now is likely getting his final chance to bat before a universal designated hitter is implemented as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.
After beginning the season in the bullpen, Price has been inserted into the starting rotation and taken at-bats for himself on a regular basis. One of those was a 105 mph sinking line drive that dropped for a single in Friday’s eventual loss to the L.A. Angels in extra innings.
“Man, that’s one of the highlights of my career right there,” Price said after the game. “That was the hardest hit ball I’ve had in the big leagues. I was facing a lefty, I told the guys I was a walking out today.
“I told Walker (Buehler) before the game I just wanted to get the ball to the infield dirt. I did that my first at-bat and hit that next ball really hard. That was a lot of fun.”
As for his pitching, Price got into the sixth inning and only allowed two runs — both on solo homers. “Was efficient, pounded the strike zone, got some early outs,” he said of the start. “I need to make a better pitch there to Iglesias in the fourth and same thing to Mayfield in the fifth.
“It was not a very well located changeup and they put two good swings on it. … I kept my pitch count down and could’ve went deeper into the game, but gave up two big hits and that was kind of the difference for us.”
Price unable to explain Dodgers’ record in extras
With their loss the Dodgers fell to an improbable 1-12 in extra innings this season. It’s one of the worst marks for extras in MLB history, and is particularly perplexing given the team’s overall record.
“I don’t have the answer for that,” Price said. “That is kind of weird, especially since we’re 20-plus games over .500. We know that we’re a very good team. We just need to play better in extra-inning games.”
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