The pressure is on for the Boston Red Sox to do well in the postseason. Will David Price live up to expectations and pitch well this October?
The Boston Red Sox had a franchise record 108 wins this season. They’ve secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and have been the face of baseball pretty much all year. But now the pressure is on for the Red Sox to do something they haven’t been able to do these last two seasons, win in the postseason.
There’s a new confidence level that manager Alex Cora brings to this team. You can’t win 108 games and get swept in the ALDS, that’s not good enough. The question is, which Red Sox player will be under the most pressure this postseason?
The answer is pretty obvious and that’s David Price, who’s slated to start Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday night at 8:15.
Price has a career 5.03 ERA in the postseason. In the 2016 ALDS loss to the Cleveland Indians, he only lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Price pitched out of the bullpen against the Houston Astros last postseason, allowing five hits and two walks while recording six strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. This season is different for Price as he will be pitching at home.
Price met the media Tuesday and was asked if he was scared to pitch in the postseason.
"“Hell no. Hell no,” said Price, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich. “No chance. No chance. Never have been. Never will be. If I’m ever scared to pitch in a baseball game, I’ll retire.”"
The pressure is on Price because in order to live up to his $30 million salary he has to pitch well in the postseason.
At Fenway Park this season, Price has a 9-2 record with a 2.98 ERA. He’s pitched 92 innings and had 95 strikeouts. He gave up 75 hits, 11 home runs, and 29 walks.
Price is 0-3 with a 10.34 ERA against the Yankees. Not good at all, however, the high ERA could be because of the bad outing he had at the end of September at Yankee Stadium. He only pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, four earned runs, three home runs, and recorded only two strikeouts.
During a Sunday Night Baseball game in August, he pitched much better at Fenway Park. That night, Price pitched six innings, giving up four hits and two runs. He had three walks but five strikeouts and didn’t allow a home run.
In a loss to Oakland, Price pitched 7 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits, four runs, and had six strikeouts.
There’s no doubt he pitches better at home. However, as we saw in April, he doesn’t like pitching in the cold weather because of his hands get numb. The temperature is going to be in the 50’s at game time on Saturday night. It’s not freezing but Price might find it hard to grip the ball because of the temperature. Or he may be alright and put the cold, and negativity aside and just pitch a gem on Saturday night.
If the Red Sox win on Friday night then Price has the chance to put them up two games to none in the series. If they lose Friday night then Price really has to pitch well or they could be down 0-2. I have faith that Price wants to prove people wrong and that he can win in the postseason as he came here to do. He has the chance on Saturday night to pitch a gem and win but the pressure is on.