Heading into Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on Sunday against the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox will turn to David Price in a contest so crucial it could be the difference between their season's end and advancing to the World Series.
On paper, Price doesn't appear to be the best choice for the job against the defending World Series champions. The 33-year-old has never won a playoff start during his 11-year career and Houston has one of baseball's most potent lineups.
Despite all of this, Red Sox manager Alex Cora showed confidence in Price by naming him the Game 2 starter following Boston's division series win over the New York Yankees.
"It’s good," Price said of being given another chance to start, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. "I did expect to make more starts for us in this year’s playoffs. But Alex told me before we even got off the field that night. So for him to tell me before we even took our jerseys off to put on our postseason shirts that we get when we win, that was special."
Should the Red Sox win, they'll head to Minute Maid Park with the series tied at 1. A loss, however, would put them in a tricky position.
Even with so much pressure on his shoulders, Price doesn't have the mindset of someone who is going to fold. He said he believes in himself ahead of Sunday's pivotal game.
"You know, you’ve got to have faith in yourself knowing that you’re going to bounce back, you’re going to match pitches and you’re going to help your team win," Price said.
The veteran left-hander had previous postseason success against the Astros, shutting them out across 6 2/3 innings of relief in Games 2 and 3 of the 2017 division series.