David Price apparently wasn’t just fighting his playoff demons this fall. He also was fighting a revealing tendency.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher exorcized his well-publicized postseason demons by not only pitching the Red Sox to the American League pennant but also tossing a gem in the World Series clincher against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.
Per Passan: “Unbeknownst to the Red Sox, the Yankees believed Price was tipping his changeup. Only it wasn’t visible to the hitter. The first-base coach could deduce when Price was throwing a changeup and would signal the hitter. With his cut fastball becoming a pitch he used less and less, taking the changeup out of the equation made hitters’ jobs even easier. The Yankees jumped him.”
The Houston Astros, according to Passan, also found Price’s tell, and they hit him hard in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox ultimately figured it out, and Price made two changes: One, he stopped tipping the pitch, and two, he started throwing fewer cutters and more changeups. As Passan notes, Price threw 39 changeups in the ALCS-clinching win. He threw 25 more in his Game 2 World Series win over the Dodgers and 24 in his Game 5 masterpiece.
On multiple occasions during the playoffs, Price indicated he and the Red Sox found something, but they unsurprisingly played it coy when discussing any changes. Regardless, it seems they figured things out at the opportune time.