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PRICE, RED SOX GO ON, YANKEES GO HOME

By Murray Chass

October 21, 2018

It’s hard to feel sorry for someone earning $31 million a year, actually less than a year, but I think I was starting to feel that way about David Price. Here was this guy making a monstrous amount of money for throwing a baseball 60 feet 6 inches, and he couldn’t win a game in October. He couldn’t beat his team’s fiercest rival either.

In four regular-season starts against the Yankees this year Price had three losses and an 11.30 earned run average. The Red Sox, however, won enough games – a major league-most 108 – that Price’s failures against the Yankees didn’t keep them from October. But what about the games Price would pitch in October? Certainly, no one would mistake Price for a pitching version of Mr. October.

Price, a 33-year-old left-hander, started the second game of the division series against the Yankees with a career post-season record of 2 wins (both in relief) and 8 losses and a 5.03 e.r.a. He got only 5 outs, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in a 42-pitch performance. Had Price been performing on Broadway and not at Fenway Park he would have been booed off the stage.

Refusing to give up on Price, Manager Alex Cora started him in the second game of the league championship series against defending World Series champion Houston. Price was still not a $31 million pitcher as he allowed 4 runs and 5 hits with 4 walks in 4 2/3 innings. However, his teammates rescued him by hitting their way to a 7-5 victory.

Price had lived to pitch another day. That day was Game 5, and Price shut out the Astros for 6 innings, allowing 3 hits and not more than 1 base runner while walking no one and striking out 9.

By earning his first post-season win as a starter after nine losses, Price removed the monkey from his back in time for his next start in the World Series against the Dodgers.

Price can opt out of his seven-year contract after the World Series, but there is no …

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ANGEL IS NO UMPIRING DEVIL

By Murray Chass

October 14, 2018

At the outset, let me reiterate that I do not care for Major League Baseball’s replay reviews. I understand the desire to get it right, and if there is a way to do it easily, do it. But humans make mistakes, and mistakes are a part of the game.

Pitchers make mistakes, and the baseballs they throw to batters wind up in the stands. Pitchers don’t get do-overs. They have to live with their mistakes.

How many times have you heard a pitcher say in a post-game interview “I only made one mistake,” but the batter hit the mistake for a home run, and it cost the pitcher’s team the game?

I raise the issue of mistakes because Angel Hernandez, a major league umpire for 27 years, has been …

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A TALE OF TWO ROOKIE MANAGERS

By Murray Chass

October 11, 2018

Two teams began the post-season with rookie managers. Now there is one.

Alex Cora and the Red Sox are playing the Astros in the American League Championship Series. Aaron Boone and the Yankees have gone home.

The Red Sox, under Cora, have achieved more than they did last year under John Farrell. The Yankees have already fallen short of what they achieved last year under Joe Girardi.

The Yankees fired Girardi a year ago supposedly not because they didn’t make it past the A.L. championship series but because of what they heard from the clubhouse. Girardi, officials said, did not …

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