David Price is a super talented pitcher who will quite possibly go down as one of the top 5 starters of his generation when it’s all said and done. Dude has been dominant at best, solidly good at worst, throughout his career.
Of course, none of that matters to Red Sox fans right now because he’s also been a complete bust in playoff games.
The numbers have been repeated a million times over the past month, but let me repeat them again: In 11 games started, he’s got a big zero wins. I know – wins are not an important statistic for pitchers, and too much has probably been made about that number by blowhard sports radio types. (I see you Big Jim Murray)
But, over 19 appearances and almost 80 innings, my man’s rockin’ a solidly terribly 5.42 ERA. Game 2 against Houston was the first time Price’s team won a playoff game he started. In his career.
A lot of this stuff is definitely circumstantial. Luck is a thing. So is stupid big run support early in games. Like if Price had been lucky enough to start game 3 of the ALDS where the Sox went off for 16 runs, my Fortnite-lovin’ dude would probably have a win by now.
And yet, the narrative persists: Price stinks in the playoffs.
He’ll even own that the narrative exists:
The Alternate Ending?
But! Price has a golden opportunity to go a long way’s toward change his reputation. The Astros are up against it. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s put the team on his back and Houston’s pitching staff in his belly and the Sox are a win away from the World Series.
If Price is dominant tonight? Shoot. Get the duckboats ready. Start construction on a statue. Dennis Eckersley may even ride the team plane again.
But what’s wild about this situation – how low the bar is right now for Playoff Price – is that he doesn’t have to be dominant to change the narrative. If my man is just solid – like 5 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks kinda solid – and the Sox are able to get a few off of Verlander early, he will be embraced as
It’s all set up for the story to flip, and we’ve seen it happen before. That’s why we love sports – we create narratives and stories about people, so much so that they become fact. We tweet, argue over group chats, come up with hot takes. But in the course of a few hours, these narratives can and do go out the window. LeBron was a choker until he wasn’t. Peyton Manning couldn’t win the big one – and then he did.
It’s all set up for Price to play the conquering hero. He can have an ultimate “eff you” game and just stick it to all the haters.
Or, he can give up 4 in 2 1/3 and look like poop.
Either way, we’ll be tweeting about it.
- / 11 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.