Even if David Price was 100 percent healthy and was on pace for 17 wins, there would be significant questions about his ability to pitch well in a postseason game.
The other big name and big money lefty on the Red Sox – Chris Sale – is actually on pace for 17 wins, but there will be great questions as to whether or not Sale is able to deal with the pressure of playoff baseball.
Sale has been absolutely phenomenal for the Sox this season, but his playoff track record leaves a lot to be desired. That’s because he doesn’t have a playoff track record.
“I always watch the postseason – unfortunately, I’ve always had the opportunity to watch it,” Sale said at the start of the 2017 season. “That’s all I ever wanted to do [is get to the playoffs], and when I tell you that, I’m being completely honest. I want to win, plain and simple. That’s my only job.”
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Regular season success means little when it comes to the MLB postseason. Just ask Rick Porcello. Porcello wound up winning the American League Cy Young Award but in his lone 2016 postseason start against Cleveland he coughed up three homers and five earned runs in just 4.1 innings of work – good for a game ERA of 10.38.
Price was even worse last October as he gave up five earned in just 3.1 innings against the Indians – good for a game ERA of 13.50.
Drew Pomeranz played a relief role in the Indians’ three game sweep of the Sox (old friend Clay Buchholz started Game 3 of that series) and also had a tough time. In 3.2 total innings of work, Pomeranz surrendered two earned runs and had a 4.91 ERA.
Eduardo Rodriguez did not get the chance to pitch in last year’s playoffs and has never pitched in a postseason game.
Doug Fister is the only regular member of the Sox’ starting rotation that has considerable postseason action. In 55.1 innings of playoff baseball, Fister owns a 4-2 record with a strong 2.60 ERA.