Good pitchers tend to evolve over time. David Price is no different.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that Price made adjustments last week before dominating the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park — even if the end result was surprising given the Boston Red Sox left-hander’s track record of playoff futility.
Price’s most notable tweak in Boston’s 4-1, ALCS-clinching win? Increased use of his changeup, which has long been an important weapon in Price’s arsenal thanks to some help he received during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays.
“James Shields is how I developed that pitch,” Price told reporters Tuesday ahead of his scheduled start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night. “Just being with him early on in my career and the changeup that he has possessed over the course of his career, and for him to take me in the way that he did, and to play catch with me every day, unless him or I were starting that game. And just being able to work on it every day with him. One of the guys that had one of the best changeups in all of baseball, to work with me on it every single day, that was huge.”
Price, drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in 2007, spent parts of seven major league seasons with the Rays from 2008 to 2014. He played alongside Shields in Tampa Bay from 2008 to 2012 and evidently learned a few things from his longtime teammate — advice that’s still coming in handy as Price seeks his first World Series title with the Red Sox.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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