David Price was pulled after just 1.2 innings in game two of the ALDS against the Yankees on Saturday. He allowed three hits, two of them home runs, and two walks. The bullpen did a decent job the rest of the game, but the Red Sox lost by the final score of 6-2.
This is Nothing New
David Price has struggled against the Yankees and in the playoffs– so a playoff start against the Yankees was a recipe for disaster. Since joining the Red Sox in 2016, Price has thrown 58.1 total innings against the Yankees. In those innings, he has a 7.71 ERA and has allowed 6.2 home runs per nine innings. Also, the Yankees are hitting .327 against Price with 83 hits. Of the 58.1 total innings pitched against the Yankees, 30.1 have come in Yankee stadium. Price has a 9.79 ERA and has allowed 33 earned runs in 30.1 innings in Yankee stadium. It is possible that he comes out of the bullpen in games three or four because of his early departure on Saturday.
Price has also been horrific in the postseason during his entire career. He has now thrown 75 playoff innings, allowing 76 hits and 44 earned runs. He also has a 5.28 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and has allowed 14 home runs in those 75 innings. All of these numbers are drastically higher than his regular season numbers, which are very good in his career for the most part. Price has a few good bullpen outings, but he is not getting paid 30 million to go to the bullpen. The best players on a playoff team need to step up when it matters most, and Price simply does not do that.
He Needs to be Great
In recent years, it has become obvious that you need elite pitching to win a World Series, as most teams win with either at least two elite starters or an elite bullpen. It is evident that the Red Sox do not have an elite bullpen, so they need the starting pitchers to be great. Chris Sale is clearly the ace, while David Price is the second best pitcher on the team. If Price continues to be awful, then the Red Sox will need Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello to step it up big time.
The last time the Red Sox won a world series in 2013, they had two great starters in Jon Lester and John Lackey and a great bullpen headlined by Koji Uehara. The 2014 Giants were carried by Madison Bumgarner in the playoffs but this is a very rare case. The 2015 Royals won on an elite bullpen and the 2016 Cubs and 2017 Astros had great starting pitching. The 2016 Cubs also would not have won the world series if it was not for the acquisition of elite closer Alrodis Chapman.
David Price has been awful in the postseason- there is no denying it and it needs to change quickly. The Red Sox made a big investment in Price, and he has not lived up to his massive contract. He still has time, but Boston is not winning the World Series if Price continues to be a major letdown.
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