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Check your fuel pressure when it dies and has trouble starting. Sounds like the motor might not be getting enough gas.
 

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Another thing to try is lubricating (or replacing) the idle air control valve (IAC). Typically, it causes symptoms such as too high of an idle when it gets stuck closed, but maybe it is malfunctioning. This is known to be a problem on these motors, that's why I suggest it.
 

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I've had a couple cars with leaky fuel injectors and they would be really hard to start when warm. After sitting for 10 minutes, they would crank and fire up then immediately die. On both cars I could hold the gas pedal to the floor while cranking to activate ECM flood clear. Then the cars would always start, rev really high and then settle to a normal idle (sometimes a little rough). Soooo leaky injectors could very well be your issue
 

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turned- those symptoms seem to be similar to what I’m experiencing. The IAC checks out, and I dealt with the sticky throttle cable. Seems like I need to commit and just replace the injectors. Thanks for the input!
Make sure you replace the o-rings on both sides on the injectors if you go this route
 
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