BOSTON — David Price‘s tortured postseason history continued Saturday night as the New York Yankees belted two home runs in the first two innings of Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Price exited after recording just five outs as the Yankees rolled to a 6-2, series-tying win over the Red Sox.
Sanchez, Judge power Yankees past Red Sox 6-2 to even ALDS
Gary Sanchez homered twice, Aaron Judge also hit a tape-measure shot and Masahiro Tanaka pitched the New York Yankees past the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Saturday night to tie their AL Division Series at one game apiece.
Red Sox replace Wright with Hembree for ALDS
Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright has been removed from Boston’s ALDS roster because of a knee injury.
Price is now 0-9 in 10 career postseason starts (he has two wins as a reliever). Price’s teams have never won a postseason game that he’s started, the 10 straight losses the longest streak in postseason history. Next closest is Randy Johnson, whose teams lost seven straight starts. Price is also the only pitcher in MLB history to allow multiple earned runs in each of his first 10 career postseason starts. The only pitcher to allow multiple earned runs in 11 straight postseason starts is Roger Clemens, but those starts were not at the start of his postseason career.
Price’s postseason ERA as a starter now stands at 6.03, and he’s allowed 13 home runs in 59⅔ innings. This was the shortest starting stint in his career and marked the first time in 299 career starts — regular or postseason — in which he failed to record a strikeout.
“It’s tough.” Price said after the game. “You know, just after we won Game 1, to go out there and have that opportunity to go up 2-0 and throw the baseball the way I did, it was definitely tough.
“But my spirits aren’t down. My confidence isn’t down. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and getting another opportunity.”
Whenever his next opportunity comes, manager Alex Cora knows Price needs to execute better than he did Saturday.
“It’s all about location. We can elevate [more]. We’ve been talking about [that] the whole season — when it’s in the same plane [it gets hit],” Cora said.
“I didn’t execute enough pitches, and that was that. They make it tough for me,” Price said. “Knowing that, you have to go out there and execute pitches in big spots in counts. And that’s something I wasn’t able to do tonight.”
Saturday’s outing turned sour quickly as Aaron Judge hit the first home run in the first inning, a 445-foot blast over the Green Monster in left center. Gary Sanchez then led off the second inning with a line shot just over the Monster in left field.
Both home runs came off cutters. Remarkably, Sanchez now has six home runs off Price, tied with Jose Bautista for the most of any hitter against the veteran left-hander — except Sanchez has done it in just 14 at-bats while Bautista has done it in 59.
The Yankees have owned Price this season. They hit five home runs off him July 1 and now have 11 off him on the season. Including postseason numbers, that’s the most home runs one team has hit off one pitcher in the past 10 seasons.
After the Sanchez homer, Price got two quick outs, but he then walked Gleyber Torres on five pitches before Brett Gardner worked an eight-pitch walk, taking a 2-2 pitch just inside before taking a fastball way up and out of the strike zone for ball four. Andrew McCutchen followed with a rocket single to left field, high off the Green Monster, a ball that would have been a home run in many parks. That was it for Price, done after 42 pitches, three runs, no strikeouts and a loud chorus of boos as he headed to the Boston dugout.
The 2012 Cy Young winner now has the third-worst ERA as a starter in the postseason among pitchers with at least 10 starts, trailing only Jaret Wright (7.77 ERA) and Tim Wakefield (6.45 ERA).
While Cora said he’ll talk with Price on Sunday and determine if he could be available in the bullpen at some point, Cora stressed that Price remains part of the starting rotation going forward.
“He’s one of our starters. Just a bad outing today. It just so happened it wasn’t his day,” Cora said. “He didn’t make pitches. We trust him. He’s bounced back before. We’ll talk to him to make a few adjustments. And we’ll go from there.”
Price said winning is all that matters and he’ll pitch whenever he’s asked.
“I just want to win. That’s it. My main goal is to win in the playoffs, to win a World Series,” Price said. “Whatever I have to do to help us do that, I’m fine with.
“I said it last year and I’ll say it again, I want to win. I want to win a World Series. And whatever I need to do to help us do that, I’m fine with. But I know I’m more than capable of winning games as a starter in October. That’s what I look forward to doing.”