Boston Red Sox relying heavily on David Price in the bullpen

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 29: David Price
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 29: David Price /

The Boston Red Sox may have found a new 7th inning man in David Price as they head into the 2017 ALDS against the Houston Astros.

If the Boston Red Sox have a lead heading into the 7th inning of an ALDS game, I expect to see lefty David Price come out onto the mound. Since returning from injury he’s been in the bullpen, and he’s pitched extremely well.

Price appeared in 5 games out of the bullpen in September, and he has a 0.00 ERA. That’s pretty solid I’d say, even if it is a small sample size. Over 8.2 innings Price struck out 13 batters and allowed just 3 hits while walking 2.  Aside from closer Craig Kimbrel, he was Boston’s best player in the bullpen over the last few weeks.

Before his injury, David Price made 11 starts for the Red Sox. He has a 3.38 ERA on the year and a WHIP of 1.19. Not bad, but not the greatest either. With all of the time off this season though, Price’s arm should be as fresh as ever. That should be a great bonus for him pitching out of the pen in the postseason.

With just a one-run lead, I’d certainly love to have Price pitch in the 7th, Addison Reed pitch in the 8th, and Craig Kimbrel pitch in the 9th.

Price also has the ability to pitch multiple innings, so he could even get into the game in the 5th or 6th if needed like Andrew Miller did last season with the Cleveland Indians. Price went multiple innings in 2 of his relief appearances in September. He also pitched three times in four days at one point. He has the stuff to be a strong member of the Red Sox bullpen in October.

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If Price is able to play an Andrew Miller-like role for the Boston Red Sox this season, he may be the ALDS MVP. Pitching Price in the middle of the game would allow players like Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz to come out early, saving their arm so that they may be able to pitch on short rest. Boston can’t have much confidence in the back end of the rotation with Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, so maybe they have Chris Sale pitch Game 1 and Game 4 if needed, while Pomeranz goes Game 2 and Game 5 if needed.

No matter how this series plays out, I think David Price has the chance to become a Boston hero. A win to propel the Sox into the ALCS will be huge, and then, they’d really have a shot at another title. Price has the chance to become an MVP here in Boston.

Next: Bogaerts focused as postseason play begins

The Red Sox and Astros will play Game 1 of their ALDS series this Thursday at 4 PM EST. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday at 2 PM. Game 3 will be played on Sunday, October 8th. If necessary Game 4 will be played on Monday and Game 5 will be played on Wednesday. The ALCS would then start on Friday, October 13th.