Entering the month of October fresh off having his best regular season in a Red Sox uniform, there was still plenty of skepticism surrounding David Price when performance matters most, in the postseason.
Up until this year, the numbers in the playoffs simply had not been there for the left-hander, as he had yet to win a postseason game he started in nine tries.
With his club owning the best record in baseball in the 2018 regular season, eyes began to turn to Price right after Chris Sale led the way for Boston in a Game One win over the New York Yankees in the ALDS.
On a cool Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Tennessee native surrendered three earned runs on two home runs in less than two innings pitched. He would eventually get hit with another loss and did not appear in the series again.
Fast forward to Game Two of the ALCS, another contest against a 100+ plus win team in the Houston Astros at Fenway, and Price made some strides towards exercising his postseason demons.
Although he was far from great (four earned runs in 4.2 innings), Price kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win, which they would eventually do to pull even with Houston.
Four days after that, after the Red Sox had taken the first two games at Minute Maid Park, the former first round pick was presented with the opportunity to pitch his team to the World Series.
With Chris Sale unavailable to start, not only did Price nearly come in as reliever the night before, but he dominated the Astros lineup in Game Five.
Three hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts over six scoreless frames was more than enough, and it eventually earned Price his first ever winning decision as a starter in the postseason.
Watching the post game festivities, you could tel it meant a lot for the 33-year-old to finally have one truly go his way in October, and he carried that over into the Fall Classic.
Making two starts as well as one relief appearance, Price posted a 1.98 ERA and .156 BAA over 13.2 innings total pitched in his second World Series
The Red Sox came away with a 4-2 win at Fenway Park in Game Two last Wednesday, and they won for the final time this year in his last outing on Sunday.
Coming off just one full day of rest from a relief appearance in Game Three, the southpaw held Los Angeles to one run in seven-plus quality innings, as the Red Sox took care of business with a 5-1 victory to win their ninth World Series title.
When asked about overcoming his own struggles in the postseason, Price responded, “To answer that question in Spring Training day and day and day and day, and over and over and over and over, anytime it got to September, playoffs, I hold all the cards now, and that feels so good,” Price said. “That feels so good. I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.”
So, here’s to David Price. He came, he saw, and now, he’s a World Series champion. And that can never be taken away from him.