A couple months ago, the Toronto Blue Jays made several blockbuster trades, one of which included the beloved, Vanderbilt alumni David Price. I’m sure we all remember Price’s travel incidents he live-tweeted on his way to Toronto.
The Blue Jays had a championship-caliber team growing, and Price only added to that equation. The Jays pushed and pushed, and finally made it to the American League Championship Series - one step closer to the World Series than they have been since 1993.
Price’s postseason appearances, however, haven’t been all too inspiring. The lefty burst onto the scene with his professional postseason debut in 2008, and Price earned praise with his first-ever postseason win fpr the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. Later that year, however, Price landed his first gig in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The end result was a significant loss (but a no-decision for Price) as the Phils rolled to the championship.
Price hadn’t won another playoff game for the next seven years, having played in ALDS games in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, until the win against Texas in this year’s AL Divisional Series. His ERA during that series, however, was a whopping 7.20 -- the highest in all of his professional postseason career.
Friday night, Price concluded his 2015 postseason with a loss against the Kansas City Royals, as almost anyone paying attention could have predicted.
Now, I’m not saying that Price’s performances alone were what caused his teams to essentially lose. Everyone knows, especially in Friday night’s game, that there are a lot more things that go into losing a baseball game than just pitching.
But, just for fun, let’s take a look at David Price’s collegiate postseason history.
Vanderbilt reached an NCAA Regional in both 2006 and 2007, while reaching the SEC Tournament and winning it in 2007. Let’s go ahead and focus on the championship game of the NCAA Regional against Michigan, where David Price was charged with his only loss of the year.
Although he had pitched well in an earlier game to start the Regional tournament, it appears his postseason problems began even before that.
In the 2006 NCAA Atlanta Regional, Price was charged with a loss against Georgia Tech after giving up seven runs in 6.1 innings. Still, in the 2006 SEC Tournament taking place earlier, Price recorded a win over South Carolina.
Even in college, Price’s postseason resume seems unfortunately consistent. In 12 playoff-type scenarios ranging from his Vanderbilt days to the MLB, he's 3-9. When David Price takes the mound with the pressure at its highest, his team has only a one-in-four chance of earning him a win. That shouldn't take away from his overall abilities, however. His continued streak of stellar regular season performances has cemented his status as a top-notch pitcher.
Some of you may ask, "What is this girl doing bashing on David Price’s playoff abilities? Is she trying to wreck his status as an elite pitcher?" No. No no no no no.
It’s just bad luck, is all. If I were to trade for a pitcher to get me to the postseason, David Price would be on my list of top five. But, y’know, it’s baseball... And I’m superstitious.
Sorry, David. I’m benching you if we make it to the postseason next season.