2018 ALCS: “Just well enough” and “effective enough”?

Okay, so a guy gives up four runs in the first three innings of a playoff start. After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, he walks two batters in the fifth and gets pulled.

THAT is being referred to as the guy pitching “just well enough” and “effective enough” for his team?

Whoa… I wonder what guys from a different era – such as Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax – would think.

And yet there it is in an article titled “David Price turns around postseason narrative in Red Sox’s Game 2 win” on ESPN.com, this pitcher was essentially praised for his performance because it evened the 2018 ALCS and was his first “team win” in 11 career postseason starts.

Yes, that guy is David Price. Here’s a little quote from that ESPN.com piece:

It was while departing in the fifth inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series that the Boston Red Sox starter received an ovation from appreciative fans. After 4⅔ innings of five-hit ball, the Fenway faithful recognized that although he wasn’t going to factor in the decision, Price pitched just well enough to keep his team in the ballgame. About four innings later, the Red Sox earned a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros, evening the ALCS at 1-1.

And, there’s more.

“That’s my first team win as a starter,” Price said, smiling.

That’s a big deal. Entering Sunday’s game, Price’s teams — he has pitched in the playoffs with Tampa Bay, Detroit and Toronto in his 11-year career — had gone 0-10 in the 10 career postseason starts he had made.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was by far the most consecutive losses for a pitcher’s team to start a postseason career in major league history. Vida Blue’s and Doyle Alexander’s teams went winless across each pitcher’s first six career postseason starts.

For the Red Sox on Sunday, Price was effective enough. After allowing four runs in his first three innings, he settled down for a 1-2-3 fourth.

With the Red Sox up 5-4, Price got two quick outs in the fifth, then surrendered a pair of walks. After the second walk, manager Alex Cora pulled Price from the game to the adoring affection of the fans.

But I digress.

Yes, I know the fact that Boston won changes the narrative of his performance. I would still call it “gutless,” though. I wouldn’t call it an “effective” outing by any means.

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