Boston, MA - The Boston Red Sox are no strangers to massive free agent signings that go terribly wrong. You don’t need to look much further than Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Rusney Castillo for that evidence. And for a while, it looked like David Price was going to be another name in the long list of boneheaded front office moves in Boston.
His first two seasons in Boston were decent if not slightly injury plagued. He wasn’t worth the massive contract initially, but his regular season ERA never went over 4.00 and he struck out 228 batters in 2016. The trouble came in the post-season as Boston never truly felt like they could rely on a pitcher who was supposed to be, at best, their ace, and, at worst, their number two guy. He gave up five runs in three innings against the Cleveland Indians in 2016 and only looked passable out of the bullpen in 2017.
But in 2018, something different clicked for Price and his talent on the mound finally measured up to the clubhouse reputation ascribed to him by his teammates for years. He was shelled in the ALDS by the New York Yankees, the one loss suffered by Boston in the series. But he really came into his own in the ALCS and the World Series.
Against the Houston Astros, Price won his first ever playoff game while giving up only eight hits and four earned runs in just under eleven innings pitched over the course of two games, including the American League pennant clinching game. He also struck out twenty-three Astros and Dodgers combined in his five total appearances in both series.
Price also won the clinching game of the World Series, delivering an absolute gem of a start that saw him go seven innings en route to posting a 2-0 record in the series that many felt was worthy of World Series MVP.
Regardless, Price pitched his heart out throughout the entire post-season to cap off a stellar regular season that saw him become Boston’s workhorse of a starting pitcher. The idea of a David Price who has it all figured out is particularly exciting when evaluating the prospects of the 2019 season.