Silverman: David Price wasn't ideal, but he was good enough

Ruben Ruiz
October 15, 2018

The Red Sox beat the Astros, 7-5, to even the series at a game apiece. Josh Reddick hit a solo homer to lead off the ninth, and Yuli Gurriel curled a three-run shot into the front row beyond the Pesky Pole to give the defending World Series champions their fifth straight post-season victory. But Price ran into trouble again in the fifth, and Cora pulled the plug after a two-out walk to Tyler White on four pitches.

Boston won 108 games, the most in franchise history and the most in the game this year, but 103-win Houston actually entered the series as the favorite, 53.8% to 46.2%, according to FanGraphs' playoff odds calculator.

With two outs in the second inning, Sale lost all command, walking two men and hitting another to load the bases. After Betts hit into a force play at the plate, the Red Sox tied the game on a wild pitch on a check-swing by Andrew Benintendi, but Verlander ended the at-bat with a called strike three on the left fielder. Both failed to minimize it, Price allowing a two-run double to George Springer in the second and a two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez in the third, and Cole giving up a three-run double to left by Jackie Bradley the third.

Cora was apparently yelling at the umpires after the inning and got tossed.

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"Ten walks is never good", said Boston reliever Joe Kelly, who was charged with the loss after allowing an unearned run in the sixth inning.

"I gotta do what I gotta do for my players", he said.

Verlander issued his first bases-loaded walk since August 3, 2015, when he walked Mitch Moreland to make it 2-1. Add all that up, and you discover that Price certainly did not embarrass himself.

For starters, the Astros had to lose a postseason game for the first time this fall, and lose a game at Fenway Park for just the fourth time in 11 games dating to the start of 2017. His last time on the mound, against the Yankees, featured an ugly, 1⅔ -inning performance, as his October failures have shifted from a narrative that was media-driven to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The right-hander struck out 12 over seven innings in a 3-1 win Game 2 win against Cleveland in the Division Series. "But obviously whenever you have to go to the hospital you've got to be 'worried'". Price worked around a pair of one-out walks in the first inning, getting out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts. "We've got D.P. on the mound and we got a bunch of guys in here that are fired up over tonight. This is the time when we kick in gear and start fighting". We're not gonna hang our heads in the locker room. Cora insisted that he had faith in Price, and he told the 2012 AL Cy Young victor as much after the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees in the previous round. "So for him to tell me before we even took our jerseys off to put on our post-season shirts that we get when we win, that was special". "They're very good at it".

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