Much has been made over the years, into this postseason, about David Price. It goes without saying that he hasn’t been Sandy Koufax or Madison Bumgarner in the playoffs. However, there were many elements of Sunday night’s start that provide us with signs that Price has turned a corner. For the first time in his career, his team won a game that he started. It goes deeper than that, from pitching out of jams to limiting damage.
Last night, David Price wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough. The walks were a little concerning, but the overall perseverance of Price was enough to earn him another start in a potential game six. The line isn’t gorgeous, four runs on four walks and five hits, but it did the trick. The bullpen did its job like I tried to tell you all before. The Sox won, which is obviously the priority, and Price showed progress in his ability to pitch in October.
Looking at the four runs, they came on two big hits. One came in the second off the bat of George Springer, and another in the third from Marwin Gonzalez. Both were strikes, yes, but neither were bad pitches by any means. Springer was able to swing inside out and just tuck one over Steve Pearce‘s head. With two outs in the inning, both runners were able to score easily, but that was an at-bat that easily could’ve gone Price’s way. When it comes to the Gonzalez home run, again, it wasn’t a bad pitch at all. In fact, the entire at-bat was well calculated and executed. The Astros slugger was just able to get his hands around on a tough pitch up and in and he drove it. Neither pitch that was costing of runs was a bad pitch, just a better swing.
Looking Ahead to Price in Game 6:
So, with everything considered, I believe Price actually pitched very well. If it were anybody else besides Gonzalez that came to the plate in the fifth, he would’ve stayed in the game. In all likelihood, he would’ve been in position for his first career postseason win as a starter. Alex Cora made the right decision matchup-wise, but David’s stuff was good enough for him to pitch another inning.
Going forward, Price deserves another start and he will deliver in the said start. He was very reliant on his fastball and seemed to shy away from the changeup. If he can gain some traction when it comes to throwing that changeup, he could really stifle this gritty Astros lineup. Barring a three-game sweep of the games in Houston, Price will start the biggest game of his career, a game six at Fenway Park in an elimination game. David Price has earned it, and he will come through again for this team.