BOSTON — David Price‘s tortured postseason history continued Saturday night as the New York Yankees belted two home runs off him in the first two innings of Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Price exited after recording just five outs, with the Red Sox trailing 3-0.
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 entered the game with a career record of 0-8 in nine career postseason starts (he has two wins as a reliever). His postseason ERA as a starter now stands at 6.03 as he’s allowed 13 home runs in 59⅔ innings as a starter. This was the shortest starting stint in his career.
Aaron Judge hit the first home run in the first inning, a 445-foot blast over the Green Monster in left center, the longest home run so far in the 2018 postseason. 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.
Asked Friday about his postseason history, Price didn’t pinpoint any specific reasons for his struggles. After providing a clichéd answer about treating it just like any other start, he joked, “I can’t really put my finger on it. That was my generic answer.”
He also said that while the fans would undoubtedly be more accepting of him if he won Saturday’s start, his focus is on the big picture.
“Yeah, but if I lose the entire playoffs and we win a World Series, I’ll take that. That’s what I’m here for. I don’t want this to be about me and me not winning,” Price said. “I want to go out there tomorrow and throw the ball well, and help the Red Sox win. That’s what I worry about.”
After the Sanchez homer, Price got two quick outs, but 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).
Joe Kelly replaced Price as manager Alex Cora had to maneuver through a bullpen that is already down Steven Wright after the knuckleballer was removed from the postseason roster Saturday with a knee injury (replaced by Heath Hembree). The Red Sox bullpen struggled to throw strikes in Game 1 of the best-of-five series, needing 89 pitches to get just 11 outs.
“We’re going to try to get 27 outs, hopefully we’ll have the lead but we have work to do,” Cora said on TBS before the fourth inning. “We’ve got Joey going back again to get the three outs and we’ll go from there.”