Somebody should rummage through the discarded laundry of the 2014 Red Sox and find a t-shirt that's only to be worn on the days David Price pitches.
"He's the Ace."
Three years after signing a record $217 million contract and two years after watching it nearly all burn, Price has claimed his place atop the Red Sox rotation in a comeback that might not reach Tiger Woods levels, but certainly deserves its own extended golf clap.
A one-time candidate for highest-paid malcontent in sports, Price has emerged from his darkest days in Boston to stabilize the defending World Series champions.
On Sunday, he gave the team exactly what it needed following Saturday's listless loss to the Orioles, tossing seven shutout innings and making one measly run stand in a 4-0 victory.
It was easily his best start of a season that had seen him pitch better than the 0-2 record and 6.00 ERA he carried into the game. Months after exorcizing his postseason demons and declaring that he held all the cards, Price found himself dealing again, and not a moment too soon.
"If you take a look at his starts, his stuff has been there, three pitches in Oakland, then that inning in Arizona, but stuff-wise he's way ahead of where he was last year at this point," said manager Alex Cora. "Everybody knew where we were pitching-wise today, and for him to go seven and give the ball to those last two guys, it was very important to us."
With ace Chris Sale and former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello struggling alongside postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi, the Red Sox rotation had found itself mirroring the disastrous 2014 group that claimed it had five aces when in fact it had none. These Red Sox were adrift and in need of an anchor.