Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (Oct. 17, 2018 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
David Price outdueled Justin Verlander. In the postseason. In an elimination game. On three days rest. Oh, and he sent the Boston Red Sox to the World Series. Nobody has received more criticism than Price over the past two seasons, and, for the short term at least, Price has shut up his haters. The 31-million dollar lefty had perhaps the best start of the season to propel the Red Sox to a 4-1 victory.
David Price Sends Red Sox to World Series
Not many people, including the author, had much hope for the Red Sox entering Game Five. After the Red Sox won a dramatic Game Four, the plan was for Chris Sale to see the mound on Game Five. However, Sale couldn’t pitch due to a stomach illness. This left the Red Sox no choice but to send David Price to the mound on just three days rest.
Price answered the call and then some. Putting his postseason struggles behind him, Price threw one of the best games of his life. Facing an Astros lineup that was the best in the league against lefty pitching, Price went six innings, allowing just three hits while striking out nine without allowing a walk. His nine strikeouts were a postseason career high, and this was his best start by just about every measure. The Red Sox needed Price to come through and he was everything the Sox could have hoped for, and then some.
Of course, elite pitching without offense doesn’t mean much, and the Red Sox bats did just enough. The scoring started in the third inning when JD Martinez crushed a solo shot to left in the top of the third. This run represented just the first run allowed by Verlander in an elimination game in over 24 innings.
Three innings later, Rafael Devers joined in on the fun. With runners on first and third, the 21-year-old third baseman launched an opposite field three-run homer to make it a 4-0 game. Verlander finished the inning, but this was one of his worst postseason starts in his recent career.
Matt Barnes took over after Price but unfortunately didn’t have the same success. The righty, who had been dominant throughout the postseason, allowed his first home run of October on a solo shot by Marwin Gonzalez. Alex Cora didn’t give Barnes a chance to finish the inning, immediately turning to Nathan Eovaldi to get out of the jam. Eovaldi did his job and the Red Sox entered the eighth inning with a 4-1 lead.
Eovaldi came out for the eighth, and after running into some trouble, made it out of the inning without allowing a run. After a scoreless top of the ninth, the Red Sox turned the ball over to closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel, who has struggled throughout the postseason, shut the door on a potential Astros comeback to secure the victory.
THE RED SOX ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!