In David Price’s utopia, these kinds of stepping-stones wouldn’t need to exist.
He would simply take the mound and dominate, like he often does in the regular season, and his postseason struggles would disappear altogether.
But in reality – though it wasn’t exactly how he envisioned it unfolding – Price cleared a significant hurdle Sunday in the Red Sox’ 7-5 win over the Astros in Game 2.
Price just missed out on his first playoff win as a starter, allowing four earned runs on five hits, and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. He did, however, guide his team to victory for the first time in 11 career postseason starts, and that was all he cared about after the game.
“It’s baby steps, it’s baby steps,” Price told reporters. “I expect to win, but I’m very happy that we won.”
Teams were previously 0-10. pic.twitter.com/PLJZIfoLWs
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) October 15, 2018
Price struggled with his command early, walking Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman in the first inning before striking out Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White to escape unscathed. Nursing a 2-0 lead in the second inning, he experienced some bad luck when George Springer bent a ball over Steve Pearce’s head that barely stayed fair and plated two to even the score.
Marwin Gonzalez blasted a two-run homer off Price in the third to give the Astros their first lead of the night, but Alex Cora opted to stick with the left-hander even after that point.
Cora noted that Price was very confident coming in, and Cora reciprocated that belief in his No. 2 starter. He said Price threw the ball well and started mixing in his changeup later in the outing.
“Overall, his stuff was good, command was good, and he gave us a chance to win,” Cora said.
— MLB (@MLB) October 15, 2018
When the Red Sox scored three runs in the third to pull ahead, 5-4, Price didn’t squander the opportunity. He turned in his best inning of the night, retiring the side in order in the fourth on a mere 10 pitches.
He walked Bregman and White to start the fifth, but Matt Barnes came in to retire the side. It was as close to a win as it could possibly be without actually being a win, and Price left to a standing ovation.
“It’s definitely appreciated,” Price said. “It wasn’t the line I had dreamed up to have tonight, but our offense, our defense, everybody rallied together. That’s what we’ve done all year. Whenever our starters have needed to be picked up, they’ve picked us up, and vice versa, so that was big.”