Just one week ago, the words “David Price,” “postseason” and “history” meant bad news was coming.
But over the course of just 12 innings, the Boston Red Sox left-hander has flipped the script.
Price delivered his second consecutive rock-solid outing Wednesday night at Fenway Park on the game’s biggest stage. He allowed just two runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers on three hits over six innings pitched with five strikeouts and three walks, lifting the Red Sox to a 4-2 win in Game 2 of the World Series that put them two wins away from a ninth World Series title.
If you’ll recall, Price also surrendered just three hits in his previous playoff start, blanking the Houston Astros over six innings in Boston’s American League Championship Series Game 5 win over the Houston Astros.
And that’s where history comes in.
That’s right: The pitcher who entered October with one of the worst postseason resumes of all time now joins a shortlist of Red Sox playoff heroes.
Derek Lowe famously put Boston on his back in the 2004 postseason, earning wins in both Game 7 of the ALCS and the deciding Game 4 of the World Series (not to mention the clinching Game 3 over the Anaheim Angels in the division series, too). Pedro Martinez was his usual dazzling self during the 1999 playoffs with 17 scoreless innings of work, while Lonborg pitched back-to-back complete games in the 1967 Fall Classic.
But none of those October legends entered their starts with Price’s baggage: Prior to ALCS Game 5, Price was 0-9 in 11 postseason starts, the most ever by a playoff pitcher without a win.
The 33-year-old finally broke through at the perfect time, however. And despite all the criticism he’s taken in Boston to date, this type of turnaround is exactly why he signed with the team in 2016.
“Yeah, I mean, 108 wins in the regular season, beating the Yankees in the ALDS, and beating the reigning champs in the ALCS and being up 2-0, this is part of the reason I came here, absolutely,” Price said after the game, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “We won the AL East the last three years and a Boston team had never won it back-to-back years; it blows me away.
“For us to do it three times and be where we are right now, that’s absolutely the reason why I came here.”
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images