Red Sox Pitcher David Price Changed Postseason Narrative In World Series

Price not a big-game pitcher? That narrative is officially dead

Taz and the Moose
November 01, 2018 - 10:15 am

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In his first postseason start, David Price allowed four runs on four hits in 4 and 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros – and at that moment, he knew something had to give.

“After he got shelled in Houston again, we said he had to do something different, he had to mix it up, he had to change something,” SNY MLB Network analyst Nelson Figueroa said on Taz & The Moose. “The Houston Astros are one of the best teams in baseball at picking up little things and noticing patterns and how you like to pitch. They pick pitchers apart. So what did he do after he got shelled? He goes back out there the next time and he threw 47 change-ups.”

Indeed, Price, primarily a fastball-cutter pitcher, evolved this postseason. He pitched six shutout innings in Game 5 of the ALCS, allowing just three hits and striking out nine.

“He wound up almost not using his cutter at all down the stretch, especially in the World Series, and it changed how hitters faced him,” Figueroa said. “So when you’re looking at what made him better, it was his ability to kind of be a little humbled by the game and say, ‘Hey, you know what? Maybe my cutter isn’t that good. Maybe I have to do something different.’ And he did. And it was just impressive to see that because all of a sudden his fast ball was a tick faster. He had four strikeouts early on (in Game 5 of the World Series), and two of them were Machado.”

Price allowed just three runs on nine hits in his final three postseason starts, striking out 19 in 19 innings.

“You could see that edge,” Figueroa said. “When you talk about pitching with that chip on your shoulder, he’s the perfect guy for that because you could see that frustration in every pitch and how he was executing every pitch. He was a much different pitcher. I think he was kind of shocked by it as well. In his postgame interview, he didn’t really know what to say. He just kind of was still in awe of the moment, which was great, and I couldn’t be happier for him. That’s one of the things that everybody always had the knock on him: with all the big money that was thrown his way, ‘Oh, this guy wasn’t a big-game pitcher.’ I think he’s changed that narrative.”