So, it is the morning after the Blue Jays were eliminated from postseason play. It still sucks. With the offseason now beginning, there are bound to be several narratives that take shape. One that has been popular throughout the postseason is David Price and his ‘inability to win’ in October. Some went as far to suggest that it will actually hurt him when he hits free agency. But, if you actually look at his October showing in 2015, he’s shown us that this narrative is weak.
Popular on Jays Journal: Blue Jays Done in by Situational Performances
In Game 2 of the ALCS, Price took the loss, but was really hurt by one bad play. The infamous no catch between Ryan Goins and Jose Bautista opened the flood gates for the Royals to pile on the runs. By the time that inning was said and done, 5 runs had come across the plate. Up until that point, Price had been shutting them out. As it was, he struck out 8 and only allowed 6 hits.
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In Game 6, it was a similar story. Price got into some trouble early…sort of. He made a mistake pitch to Ben Zobrist that found the left field seats for a solo shot in a stadium that doesn’t see a lot of home runs. The wind sure helped out a lot, too. He also gave up a mistake pitch to Mike Moustakas who hit a solo home run. We have to set aside the fact. that we know it was assisted by the fan. It was reviewed. It was not overturned. Regardless, other than those two big mistakes, Price was dealing. He’d go 6.2 innings (as he did in Game 2) and would give up 3 runs on 5 hits, a walk and 8 whiffs.
If you were to ask yourself before a series starts if you would like 6 innings out of your starter with 3 runs or fewer given up, you’d take it. Ideally, the pitching staff would be set up in a way that you have 2-3 bullpen arms you can round out the game with. The problem is, postseason baseball doesn’t exactly play out that way. The margin for error is slim. Add to that, the fact that relievers get hurt, take personal leave, have their schedule disjointed and can’t get regular rest, you get a situation where the starter has to do more.
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In a perfect world, David Price would have no hit the Royals for 8 innings. In a perfect world, the offense would have helped him out a bit. The Blue Jays scored more runs than anyone on the planet in 2015. Yet, in these tight postseason games, it seemed a struggle. It was particularly noticeable when Price was pitching. Now, that could be because the opposing starters were on their game, or because the Blue Jays could not seem to figure out how to adjust to the game plan being thrown at them.
Regardless, this highlights the reason why the “Price Postseason” narrative if flawed from the start. As a starter, Price is 0-7. Overall, he’s 2-7 thanks to an appearance out of the ‘pen in 2008 and one in this year’s ALDS. But, judging a pitcher based on win loss record is flawed. Look how much goes into the decision. You need help from your offense, the other team, etc. Yet, here we were hearing that David Price was terrible in the offseason because of his W/L record.
If the Blue Jays, or any team for that matter, are going to sign David Price, they’ll likely look for any way possible to save money. There have been several examples where post season performance has landed players big contracts. The opposite could be true, here. The problem is, it is based on flawed thinking. Win/ loss is a terrible basis for financial decisions. And, it doesn’t actually tell the right narrative. In the ALCS, David Price has shown that his performance certainly is not lacking. We can put this one to rest.