That finicky, discriminatory, subjective, erratic and unpredictable beast called the MLB Playoffs strikes with a double-edge blade.
One side cuts into the greatest aspects of a ballplayer and duplicates the potency of their effectiveness times ten, making them postseason Gods. The other side is leaking a destructive venom that rips into the gut of the game’s greatest players, diminishing their all-world talents and making postseason success as unattainable as the cure for cancer.
Take San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner for instance. He’s a really solid pitcher during the regular season, but he becomes a lights-out, mound marauder when the playoffs hit. He has a marriage with the baseball gods that’s just like magic.
It can be argued that the Boston Red Sox' David Price, on the other hand, is a much better regular season pitcher than Madbum, but no matter the uniform, you can almost put it in the books that Price will struggle come postseason.
The same can be said for Clayton Kershaw, who was 3-6 in his playoff career which dates back to 2008, before squeezing out five innings and a win against the Nationals in Game 1 of the Dodgers NLDS matchup with Dusty Baker’s boys.
Kershaw’s bullpen brokered a deal with baseball’s Fathers of Fate and gained the regular season pitching King some playoff favor.
Price’s history of postseason struggles continued on Friday in Boston’s 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He allowed a less-than-gangster five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Price is 2-8 with a 5.53 ERA in the postseason.
Price has dominated the Indians in the regular season (10-2 with a 2.24 ERA in 14 starts) but true to form, he didn’t have it in his first October start of 2016.
The Red Sox broke the bank for Price this past offseason with an understanding that he would propel them to a World Series run. All hope isn’t lost for Price or the Red Sox, who are down 2-0 to their ex-skipper Terry Francona’s Indians in the ALDS.
According to cleveland.com, the last two times the Indians have played the Red Sox in the postseason, they've jumped out to early leads only to have Boston come back to eliminate them.
They took a 2-0 lead in the 1999 ALDS, but Boston rallied to beat them in five games. In 2007, they took a 3-1 lead in the ALCS over the Red Sox, who came back to beat then in seven games.
In 21 postseason games between the Red Sox and Indians, this is only the second time Boston has been held scoreless. The Indians lead Boston in the all-time, 13-8.
Price could get another shot at this if Boston can stretch the series to five games. History is on their side, but right now, the baseball gods ain’t messing with Price.