After appearing with a fourth MLB team in his postseason career, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price’s playoff legacy is quickly becoming somewhat of a train wreck.
Upon signing his mega-deal with the Boston Red Sox on December 4, 2015, starting pitcher and hopeful club ace David Price declared the following:
"“Um, well I think I was just maybe saving all my postseason wins for the Red Sox. I think you guys will enjoy those.”"
A smirk crossed his cheeks and the audience of BoSox journalists and bloggers had a chuckle. The laughter eventually broke into applause. It was indeed a funny and clever thing to say back then in the moment, but now… maybe only Blue Jays fans are the ones laughing somewhere. The entire press conference can be viewed here.
If you’re following the Red Sox’s 2016 postseason endeavors — which I’m sure you are if it brought you to this article — Price probably wishes he never uttered those words. Of course it’s what fans and the front office wanted to hear. But so far, it’s inaccurate, and Bostonians will hold him accountable.
Price wasn’t signed for seven years and $217 million to carry the rotation from April through September. That kind of money given to a pitcher means when October rolls around, a pitcher is to go out on the mound, twirl gems and pick up wins.
Price did not do that on Friday versus the Cleveland Indians. In what ultimately became a 6-0 victory for the Tribe, Price was hit hard, surrendering five earned runs, three of which came via the long ball from Lonnie Chisenhall‘s bat.
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John Farrell summoned for the bullpen after Price had recorded only 10 outs in the ballgame. The outing ultimately became the shortest postseason start of his career to date and has left Red Sox faithful waiting for all those wins he assured them were coming, to come.
Price moved to 0-8 as a starter in his postseason career with a 5.74 ERA. He has two wins, but both came in the capacity of a reliever. Overall, his ERA in October baseball is now 5.54.
No. 24 went 17-9 in the regular season for Boston. His 230 IP and 228 SO led the club, however it was at times, a rough start to the 31-year-old’s career as a Red Sox player. Price’s ERA finished at 3.99 with a FIP of 3.60. Both those numbers represent the second worst totals of his career. His ERA climbed to as high as 6.75 on May 7. By all accounts, it was not his finest season.
Rick Porcello pitched like Boston’s ace for most of the season. He led the club and American League in wins with 22 and his 5.0 WAR also carried the Red Sox, compared to Price’s 3.0.
It’s very likely Price will have more productive years ahead of him in Boston. However, his postseason track record is starting to become untrustworthy. If he can’t handle the pressures and rigors associated with pitching in an ALDS or ALCS, how can Farrell confidently start him in a World Series game? Assuming that ever becomes a reality, of course.
Speaking of, Price has only twice pitched in a World Series. Both those outings came in his rookie 2008 season with the Tampa Bay Rays as a reliever. From 2010 onward, Price has logged only two quality starts in eight opportunities during the playoffs.
On the cusp of being swept by Cleveland in the ALDS, David Price and his Red Sox may not even get the opportunity to turn his postseason fortunes around in 2016. That might have to wait until 2017. Even if Boston can rally and force a game five, can Farrell even choose to hand him the ball?