Leandre: David Price Starting Game 2 is ‘Smart’

Leandre: David Price Starting Game 2 is ‘Smart’

by October 14, 2018 0 comments

Despite the lackluster performance turned in by David Price in Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees, Alex Cora decided to turn right back to the left-hander in Game 2 against the Astros of the ALCS.

In doing so, Price will be taking his 0-9 postseason record as a starter to the hill on Sunday night against Gerrit Cole. Shrink that sample size down to his Red Sox career—in the rotation, he’s 0-2 with a 14.40 ERA in just five innings of work.

However, the image of Price since he has signed in Boston back in the winter of 2015 has been that he is a fantastic regular season pitcher who tends to flake out in October. He’s been labeled everything negative in the book, from ‘fraud’ to ‘thief’ to ‘coward.’ You name it, someone has probably called Price that since signing in Boston.

On top of that, he did nothing against the Yankees last Saturday to garner any sort of praise from the Boston media, or the fans either. Lasting just 1.2 innings, allowing three earned runs while walking two, and failing to strike somebody out for the first time in his postseason career, the recently turned 33-year-old left-hander left to an array of boos from the Fenway faithful. A game in which the Sox lost 6-2.

Many were calling for Price’s head and saying he should be banished to the bullpen or even removed from any consideration to be used in a postseason game. However, Cora showed great confidence in him by going right back to him in Game 2.

One word can be used to describe Cora’s decision here—genius.

If what Red Sox beat writers and fans are saying about the mental capacity is true, then Price is a pitcher lacking any sort of confidence when it comes to pitching in October. So backing him up to Game Four, pinning him to just one start in the series would be like a knife to the heart of the recoiling lefty. Everyone in their right mind knew that Chris Sale would be starting in Game 1 after the Sox clinched in four at Yankee Stadium, so the Game 2 starter was up in the air.

Going back to David Price should be huge for his confidence.

Furthermore, in his career vs. Houston, Price is 6-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 12 outings—10 starts—whereas he is 15-14 with a 4.90 ERA in 42 outings—41 starts. Looking at it from a career standpoint, Price notoriously struggles vs. New York. It isn’t necessarily far-fetched to speculate Price’s last start was more about facing the Yankees than it was a postseason start.

If I can offer a bit of advice for Red Sox fans going into Sunday night, it would be this—go in with absolutely no expectations. Expect him to fail, because his track record would indicate that he will. Stop expecting him to go out and dominate. But he has pitched well in October in the past—three quality starts and one ultra-quality start—so he can do it. At this point, it’s just about channeling in that confidence for David Price.

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