David Price took the mound in Game 2 of the ALDS looking for white whale: a postseason win. Often mocked by Twitter and even opposing fans, Price has never won a game in the postseason. Does he have a postseason save? Yes. It’s a postseason win that remains elusive. That quest for win number one continues, after getting embarrassed by the Yankees at Fenway Park.
The Boston bullpen is bad. It has been bad all season. This is not news. David Price hasn’t lived up to his mammoth contract. This is also not news. However, could he be of use to the ailing Sox pen? Yeah. I mean, he’s not helping them win games by starting, so birds of a feather, maybe?
As you know, Price got hit by a train called Aaron Judge and then a less on-schedule train called Gary Sanchez, who banished balls to the shadow realm off Price in Saturday’s Game 2 of the ALDS. Alex Cora did Price a solid by keeping him in the game as long as he did. Price returned the favor by leaving two men on before being removed the game in the second.
After a historic year for first-year manager Alex Cora, who gained the reputation for getting the most of players by putting them in situations catered to their abilities, it seems odd that he would opt for Price in a pivotal Game 2. We saw how the Dodgers handled a Game 1 victory, by throwing Clayton Kershaw to put the Braves in the undesirable position of having to win out their 5-game series, so why not go with Eovaldi or Porcello for Game 2?
David Price owns a 5.63 ERA in 11 ALDS appearances in his career. In those 11 games, Price has given up 14 home runs
Should the Red Sox make it out of the ALDS, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s relegated to the bullpen, where the other high ERA Sox pitchers currently reside. Price shouldn’t have started Game 2.
And it could cost them…
The Red Sox will now look to Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello is Games 3 and 4 to pull ahead and win the series in New York. How have the Sox faired at Yankee Stadium this year? In their 9 games in the Bronx, Red Sox pitchers went 3-6 with a 6.24 ERA, a 1.480 WHIP, and gave up 19 home runs. Not great, considering the Yankees could clinch their second consecutive ALCS appearance at home.
Even a split of the games in the Bronx would put the series on the shoulders of Chris Sale, the Red Sox Ace, who was dealing in Game 1. Taking the series to 5 games would also not help were they to move on, as Sale would have to pitch Game 3 on full rest, or Game 2 on short rest. Not ideal to expend your Ace like that.
Is it insane for a team to place their $30 million dollar man in the bullpen? Not if he’s pitching like a $3 million dollar man, or even $300K. Now the Red Sox head to the Bronx with the momentum shifting to the Yankees. With a bullpen that’s pitched 11 of the 18 innings plays so far this series, the key for the Sox has to be dominance from their starting pitchers. The Sox had other options.
Instead, they head to the Bronx, even with the Evil Empire, who just regained their swagger.
David Price was not the guy to start Game 2, and that’s not even talking from hindsight, that’s looking at history. After a 108 win season, hundreds of great decisions, Alex Cora’s confidence in the Red Sox most expensive player may have cost them the ALDS.
The Red Sox had the chance to put a dagger in the hearts of the Yankees before heading to New York. They missed that chance and will now face an uphill battle to advance to the ALCS, beginning tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium.
- / 11 months ago
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