Thanks to some timely hitting by Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and my son, Raffi "Baby Beluga" Devers the Red Sox were able to win last night 7-5 and tie the American League Championship Series at a game a piece.
We all know the story isn't about the bats, but the man who started the game for the Red Sox, David Price.
The big takeaway is that for the first time in his postseason career, David Price's TEAM won a game that he started. In age where the pitcher win is de-valued; I guess this was like the baseball version of a tie? But hey, the Browns broke their losing streak with a tie and now have two whole wins, so maybe this is sign of brighter things to come?
Price didn't personally win the game, so that story-line lives on another 5 days (at least), but most importantly, his team did. I will give him credit for this, he has been saying all the right things.
After 10 starts and 10 losses, thanks to 4.2 innings of 4 run ball (where he walked 4 men, and gave up 5 hits) David Price's team finally won a playoff game.
He did not win, Matt Barnes picked up the W. But standing ovations and really selective stats were in order after a 7.71 ERA appearance for a man making 31 million bucks a year.
I never want to hear about how hard it is to play in Boston again. This is how low the bar was with David Price that only allowing 4 runs in 4.2 was considered a big building block and cause for celebration.
Price was spotted a 2 run lead, which he promptly gave up, then the next inning gave up another 2 spot. Yes, Xander didn't do him any favors defensively, but the Red Sox offense did. Two early runs, then a 3 spot in the 3rd after he gave up a home run to Marwin Gonzalez that would still be in orbit if it wasn't for the banner it hit on the monster.
The 4th was the biggest bright spot, Price retired the side in order, then in the 5th after two quick outs, Price walked the next two men and was relieved for Matt Barnes, whomst was able to get out of the jam. Price had a chance to pick up an ugly, prime example why sabermetric people want to "kill the win" win, but his wildness lost him that chance.
What's crazy about this babying of David Price is that I'm totally fine with it. Whatever fucking works bro. It's like parenting or teaching. Not everything is cookie cutter for all people. If this is what works for david Price to not lose, let's do it. I think it's so fucking soft, but I want the Red Sox to win the World Series and they are (very likely) going to need David Price to be David Price in order to do so.
So if we need give him standing ovations for not making it out of the 5th inning, I'll do it. At least to his credit that is sort of what playoff baseball is now, even with a team like the Red Sox with a questionable pen, it's all about the starter giving you as many outs as possible (usually 12) while the team still maintains the lead. Price left with the Red Sox ahead, so people were showing Price their appreciation of him not going 1.2 innings, 7 earned.
It's like when you go to a movie with your girlfriend that you don't want to see, but know just going along with it will be better for you in the long run. If I was there last night I probably would've cheered too. I feel like David Price just wants to be loved and have people care about him as more than just a pitcher on a baseball team. Yes you're a person, and not just a baseball player. But to Red Sox fans, until you win on the biggest stages nobody is going to give a fuck about your bulldog. In Boston (at least I used to think) we just want to win. We're spoiled now. Like the Backstreet Boys, I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did, as long as you ... win for me. I think David Price is a mental midget, softy who cannot get it done in the brightest of lights. He just doesn't have it. Something changes mentally for him. Idk what it is. Because he's pitched great in meaningful regular season games where the pressure to get to October is there. Most notably his performance in the 2013 American League Wild Card tie-breaker where he pitched a complete game victory against the Texas Rangers just so his team could get into the Wild Card game.
Look at his 2015. After he got traded to the Blue Jays Price was unbelievable, in a playoff race to win the division, he went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts down the stretch to make the playoffs. Finished 2nd int the Cy Young voting. Then his first playoff start, something changed, as he gave up 5 runs (2 homers) over 7. How do you go from 2.30 ERA to that?
TBS can skew stats all they want about run support, but run support doesn't matter when your ERA is over 6. But again, if this is what Red Sox fans have to do for David Price to "work" I'm okay with it.
Like David Price did not pitch well, plain and simple. Yes the Red Sox won, but I'm still really worried about him going forward. He walked the potential tying, and go-ahead runs in his final inning.
It's just hard for me to wrap my head around this whole thing, like obviously I'm excited that the Red Sox won, they had to win this game or else IMO, the series was over, and yes, technically David Price did enough to not lose, but man oh man, as a Boston sports fan, it really is funny to see David Price get a standing ovation for being on the verge of losing the game. I guess there's positives to take from his 7.71 ERA performance, but man talk about a microcosm of the world we live in today. Where 4 earned runs and not making through 5 is considered a victory. That's how low the bar is for David Price. It's like if the garbage man took one of every 3 houses' garbage off the curb and the neighborhood threw him a parade for his hard work. I really wanted Price to get that 15th out to have a chance to win, but Cora for sure made the right move taking him out after the walks.
Because don't get it twisted, I want David Price to succeed. I actually like him and think he's a good pitcher. sure I'll say that he's a mental midget or a pussy, but I mean the stats back it up. Doesn't mean I'm rooting for him to fail. In his defense, a small extent the playoff win thing is a little overblown. Only because like last night where the bats took care of him, it is a team game. Price has pitched 4 quality starts in October, but still lost. He's had some bad luck. In game 3 of the 2014 ALDS (a series that I'm still not sure ever happened) Price pitched 8 innings and only gave up 2 runs and lost.
But for the Red Sox to win a World Series they are going to need to get a vintage (regular season) David Price start. Give me 2 runs 7 innings 8 k's. 217 million should be able to buy that. As a big narrative guy, how fitting would it be for David Price's first career playoff win to come in the World Series clinching game? With his next start lining up to be game 6 I'll take first win as a pennant clincher too!
P.S. It looks like the Red Sox bullpen might not suck anymore? Still worried about Kimbrel, but I think with a 3 run lead he was just pitched to get outs. Pretty Ricky has been a stud as the set-up man.