David Price had the opportunity to get two monkeys off his back Saturday night, but unfortunately for the left-hander, those monkeys didn’t come close to relocating in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
The Red Sox starter, whose struggles in the playoffs and against the Yankees are well-documented, turned in a dud against New York, lasting just 1 2/3 innings in which he allowed three runs on three hits in Boston’s 6-2 loss at Fenway Park. The Sox had the chance to take a commanding 2-0 series lead back to New York, and Price is well aware of the opportunity he squandered.
“It’s tough,” Price said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “After we won Game 1, to go out there and have that opportunity to go up 2-0 and to throw the baseball the way that I did, it’s definitely tough. My spirits aren’t down, my confidence isn’t down. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and getting another opportunity.”
Price’s outing in Game 2 further entrenched his mark in Major League Baseball playoff history, but for all the wrong reasons. The southpaw’s teams are 0-10 in his 10 career postseason outings, and of the 70 pitchers in league history to log 10 playoff starts, Price is the only one without a win.
That said, Price isn’t completely deprived of playoff success. The 33-year-old was stellar as a reliever in last season’s ALDS against the Houston Astros, only allowing five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Price isn’t totally opposed to returning to the bullpen in these playoffs, but he’s confident he can get the job done as a starter.
“I just want to win, that’s it,” Price said. “My main goal is to win in the playoffs and to win a World Series. Whatever I have to do to help us do that, I’m fine with. I said it last year, I’ll say it again: I want to win. I want to win a World Series. And whatever I need to do to help us do that, I’m fine with. But I know I’m more than capable of winning games as a starter in October, and that’s what I look forward to doing.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora wouldn’t rule out shifting Price to the bullpen, and the left-hander himself noted he’d be available to pitch in Monday’s Game 3 at Yankee Stadium if need be. But given the lefty’s struggles in New York, that could be too great of a risk.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees Game 2:
— Gary Sanchez has Price’s number, to say the least. The Yankees catcher is 7-for-14 in his career against the left-hander with six (!) home runs.
— The Red Sox added injury to insult in the top half of the eighth inning when Mitch Moreland left the game with an apparent injury and was replaced by Steve Pearce. Moreland scored Boston’s second run in the seventh on an Ian Kinsler RBI double and appeared to pull up lame upon crossing the plate.
After the game, Cora revealed Moreland was dealing with a bit of hamstring tightness, but he wasn’t under the impression that the injury would prompt a roster change.
— Joe Kelly was one of the lone bright spots for the Red Sox. The right-hander was the first reliever called to action upon Price’s exit, and Kelly responded with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in which he only allowed one hit.
— The Red Sox have lost their last seven postseason games in which they scored less than five runs.
— Boston became the first home team to lose a game in the division-round stage of the 2018 MLB playoffs.