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The lesson David Price learned from past postseasons

Rob Bradford
October 04, 2018 - 10:15 am
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David Price has been saying all the right things leading up to his Game 2 start against the Yankees Saturday, a trend that didn't stop Wednesday afternoon.

"It doesn’t matter. I wasn’t starting," said Price when it came to his takeaway from last season's 6 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in his two American League Division Series appearances. "If I came in the second inning, went eight shutout innings and won, it still doesn’t matter. You have to do it as a starter. I have to do it this year."

Perhaps that has been one of the biggest alterations when it comes to Price's existence. Gone are tweets like the one suggesting at least he couldn't lose a playoff game in Hawaii just days after a disastrous ALDS outing against Cleveland. And any references to regular-season successes can't be found, with all judgments being placed on the postseason.

So, with his 18th appearance in the playoffs rolling around, it seemed logical to ask what Price has learned throughout his well-documented forays into the postseason.

"What have I learned? How to handle failure," he told WEEI.com. "I would say that’s the biggest lesson, handling shortcomings, handling failure. That’s not something you want to experience time and time again but the more you go through it you handle it better, you learn from it, you move on. You use those experiences for lessons to make you better."

Bring up the Cleveland start and he's not going to get into specific lessons, as is the case with what transpired out of the bullpen against Houston last year. But the jolts of reality from 2013 against the Red Sox (7 IP, 7 runs), in 2015 vs. Kansas City (6 2/3 innings, 5 runs) and that 3 1/3-inning outing in which he allowed five runs to the Indians have helped shape what you hear from him now.

How that all translates for a pitcher whose team is 0-9 in his postseason starts, that remains to be seen. That's what Saturday's for.

"I don’t sit here and dwell on bad playoff years," Price said. "What I learned was to move past it, learn how to get over it and move forward.

"I’ve had worse games in the regular season than I’ve had in the playoffs, but the playoffs are magnified more than those games and I understand that. I agree with that. It’s the biggest time of the year for all of us. Just go out there and be great. That’s all I can do."

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