It was not long ago that Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price shared a large burden of criticism during the postseason. Coming into the 2018 Postseason, Price was 0-9 as a starter with a 6.16 ERA for the teams that he has played for during the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and Detroit Tigers have all had to deal with the tremendous success of Price during the regular season but also the lows of a pitcher unable to produce in the Postseason.
David Price Goes From Postseason Scapegoat to World Series Hero
Price’s persona has been forever changed as a result of his stellar World Series performance. In Game 2, he pitched six innings, giving up only three hits, two earned runs and recording five strikeouts. On short rest in Game 3, he pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, giving up only one hit. And in the World Series-clinching Game 5 that saw the Red Sox win 5-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Price went seven innings, giving up only three hits, two walks, and generating five strikeouts.
“There’s no other stage that’s going to be bigger than pitching in a World Series game,” said Price. “To be able to do that, it feels good, for sure. I’m pumped for myself and pumped for all my teammates and coaches. We did it.”
Price Adds Successful Postseason to Dominant Regular Season
Wherever Price has gone, he has made an immediate impact. His first stop was with the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that had made the World Series when Price entered MLB in 2008. His most notable season was in 2012 when he was awarded his only Cy Young Award. Price went 20-5 with an ERA of 2.56 and a 1.10 WHIP, recording 205 strikeouts on the year.
Price then arrived at the Detroit Tigers for a two-year stint, where he went 13-8 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. In the summer of 2015, Price was sent to a Toronto Blue Jays team in need of a spark to get back to its first postseason since 1993. In his short time with Toronto, Price went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, getting the Blue Jays back to the postseason after capturing their first AL East title since 1993.
The stellar regular season play continued when Price signed a lucrative deal with the Boston Red Sox. In three seasons with the Red Sox, Price is 39-19, with a 3.74 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. But with all the dominating regular season’s Price has had, it has been overshadowed by poor performances in the postseason. Blue Jays fans begrudgingly remember when Price had a measly 7.20 and 5.40 ERA in four games played during the 2015 postseason. Or that instance in the 2016 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, when Price recorded a forgettable 13.50 ERA in one pitching appearance.
With all the criticism and skepticism thrown Price’s way, he has handled the adversity with poise and grace. Never has the starting pitcher been flustered. He has responded to every question in a similar fashion.
“I just don’t have an answer for you guys,” Price said. “I’ve been asked that quite a while now. I can’t really put my finger on it. That was my generic answer. I look forward to going out there and starting a baseball game and giving us a chance to win.”
David Price a Postseason Hero
In Game 2 of the 2018 ALDS against the New York Yankees, Price pitched a performance similar to his previous starts. The Yankee hitters got after him early and sent him out of the game, with a 16.20 ERA.
It would not be until Game 5 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros when Price would get the monkey off his back. In Game 4, Price was warming up in the bullpen, making adjustments to his changeup, knowing that a start in Game 5 would be imminent. In Game 5, Price brought his best stuff, erasing the demons that have plagued him throughout the postseason. He allowed three hits, zero walks, and struck out nine batters to advance Boston to its first World Series since 2013. Nothing could have made Price more proud.
“It’s one of the most special days I’ve ever had on the baseball field,” Price told reporters in Houston after Boston’s series-clinching win. “So very special.”
As David Price celebrates a World Series victory with his teammates, he finally feels the gratification that any star pitcher experiences when history is fulfilled. The Price critics are no more. He is a postseason hero and will remain a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
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