David Price tops players as Red Sox eliminate Astros in AL Championship Series in 5 games

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Red Sox pitcher David Price is Box-Toppers Player of the Game in Thursday’s American League Championship Series Game 5, as Boston eliminates the Houston Astros.

ALCS Game 5: Red Sox 4, Astros 1

Price struck out nine over six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks, in the 4-1 win over the Astros.

The Red Sox win the series in five games, 4-1, to advance to the World Series. The defending 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros are eliminated.

Price had 14.4 Box-Toppers points in 2018, 18th among all players and 12th among AL pitchers. This was not only his first Box-Toppers Player of the Game honor he’s earned in three appearances this postseason, it is his first career postseason Box-Toppers Player of the Game honor in his 20th appearance in nine postseasons since 2008.

Despite his regular season success, Price has not fared well in the postseason. Teams are 7-13 in postseason games in which he’s appeared. Five of those seven wins have come in games in which Price, normally a starter, has appeared in a relief role. And in six of those previous wins, one of his teammates earned Player of the Game honors.

This postseason, Price appeared in the ALDS Game 2 loss against the Yankees (1.2IP 3H 3R 2BB 0K L) on Oct. 6. He had a Box-Toppers game score of -9.8. The only other career postseason game he started and his team won was the ALCS Game 2 win over the Astros on Oct. 14, but had the lowest Box-Toppers game score among all players of -8.8 (4.2IP 5H 4R 4BB 4K ND).

But Thursday, Price was able to show some of the regular season dominance that has given him 125.3 career Box-Toppers points, 13th among all active players.

Price had a game-high +12.0 Box-Toppers game score. Third baseman Rafael Devers had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+1.0) among Red Sox batters (HR 1-4 R 3BI). Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who had earned Player of the Game honors twice this postseason, had a Box-Toppers game score Thursday of -7.0 (6IP 7H 4R 2BB 4K L).

Red Sox relievers, who had not performed well, even in Boston wins this postseason, mostly had positive Box-Toppers game scores in Thursday’s win:

The Red Sox ranked first in Box-Toppers team rankings with its players accumulating 143.6 Box-Toppers points in 2018. The Astros ranked fourth with 132.2 points.

The Red Sox host Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday against the winner of the National League Championship Series, either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Milwaukee Brewers.

Top player from each game

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (BTG)

BTG Game Player AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
+12.0 BOS 4, HOU 1 David Price (W, 1‑1) 6.0 3 0 0 0 9

Coming Friday:

National League Championship Series Game 6, Dodgers lead Brewers, 3-2

The pitching matchup Friday:

Dodgers—Hyun-Jin Ryu, 10.1 Box-Toppers points, 49th among all players, 26th among NL pitchers.

Ryu has earned Player of the Game honors once in two postseason appearances this year:

  • He was Player of the Game in the NLDS Game 1 win over the Braves on Oct. 4.

  • He was not Player of the Game in the NLCS Game 2 win he started on Oct. 14, with a Box-Toppers game score of -1.9 (4.1IP 6H 2R 0BB 4K ND).

Brewers—Wade Miley, 4.0 Box-Toppers points, 249th among all players, 84th among NL pitchers.

Well, we’re guessing it’s Miley and we are kind of assuming he will pitch to more than one batter, but giving the Brewers’ strategy this postseason, that’s no guarantee.

Miley has appeared three times previously this postseason, but has not earned Player of the Game honors:

  • He appeared in the NLDS Game 3 win over the Rockies (4.2IP 3H 0R 0BB 0K ND) but did not earn Player of the Game, which went to relief pitcher Corbin Burnes.

  • He appeared in the NLCS Game 2 loss to the Dodgers. Though the Brewers lost, Miley had the highest Box-Toppers game score of all players in the game of +6.2 (5.2IP 2H 0R 0BB 3K ND).

  • He “appeared” as a “starter” in the NLCS Game 5 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday. While Miley was announced as a starter, he pitched to only one batter, giving up a walk, and had a Box-Toppers game score of -1.0 (0IP 0H 0R BB 0K ND). Brewers manager Craig Counsell announced Miley as a starter so that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would cater his starting line-up to the left-handed pitcher. Removing Miley so quickly with a right-hander, Brandon Woodruff, Counsell hoped to leave the Dodgers off-balance and give the Brewers the edge. The Dodgers won anyway.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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