It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been consistently dominating the majors with the best record in baseball. While taking residency as the cream of the crop may have some fans happy, this has been nothing new for the Dodgers in recent years. Usually, the team dominates the regular season only to run out of gas in the postseason.
Outside of the COVID-19 season in 2020, the Dodgers have fallen short of championship glory on many occasions.
Outside of the 2020 season, the bugaboo for LA has been the inability to put together a complete series of consistent pitching and offense at the same time. Sometimes the pitching can be dominant with minimal offense and at other times the pitching, most notably the closers have failed to come up with the crucial out to close out games.
If a World Series championship is in the cards, the pitching dilemma that comes with the season-ending injuries to Dodgers ace Walker Buehler has to be addressed. Despite the fact his numbers weren’t as gaudy as his 2021 campaign with a 16-4 record and 2.47 era that led him to a fourth-place finish in the Cy Young Award voting, the team was preparing to bring him back in September for the playoffs.
Even though Buehler wouldn’t be the go-to pitcher in a starting scenario, he could have been an option coming out of the bullpen in a pinch. Most likely this would be in a close-out situation where the Dodgers needed an out with runners on base. His injury has the team reshuffling the deck of all of their pitching staff from top to bottom.
Here’s where our Black Ace David Price can make an impact and close out his career on the highest level. MLBbro.com’s Senior writer, Kevin Moore shared his steady climb up the all-time and active player strikeout list earlier this season.
Black Ace (@DAVIDprice24) David Price Is Still Rolling | He’s 78th On The All-Time K List And Counting, You Can’t Front On Him a Little. @KevMoore93 writes about the success of the former Cy Young Award winner. https://t.co/966ojbo2Iy pic.twitter.com/VpudFgkUF4
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 29, 2022
The one probable Achilles heel the Los Angeles Dodgers have on a team that seems nearly unbeatable these days is a reliable closer who can come in and shut down a rally when needed. With the Dodgers owning several huge winning streaks this season, it is clear that the team does what they have to do and beat the inferior teams while putting them away early. Plus the starting pitching has been out of sight.
For years, the closer for the Dodgers has been Kenley Jansen, whose career the last few seasons had mirrored the championship success of the team. Even though he was collecting saves at a high rate in the regular season, he would struggle in the postseason to the point that he lost his confidence and job as the closer in his last season. Eventually, he moved on to the Atlanta Braves.
David Price will be known as the “other” player who came over in the Mookie Betts trade a couple of years ago. MLBbro.com has been very consistent in highlighting one of the top MLBbros in the game in Betts as he helped Los Angeles to a World Series title.
The last MLBbro pitcher to top the 20-game winning plateau could carve a very important niche as the Dodgers closer after being a full-time reliever this season. He found himself picking up a save over the weekend as LA swept the Marlins.
As the season closes, it is looking more and more that Price will be calling it a career after completing his huge seven-year, $217 million contract that he signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox back in 2015. Over the July 4 holiday, he discussed his retirement plans to spend more time with his family via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
“My (two) kids love it so much. That’s the only thing that makes me even think about playing any longer,” Price said. “I always told myself I’d ask my son, “Do you want daddy to play baseball or do you want daddy to be home all the time?’ I asked him before this year and he said, ‘I want you to be home.’ I said, Are you sure?’ He said, ‘Yeah’. Now when I ask him, he says, ‘No, I want you to keep playing.”
If this is his last season, David Price has built himself quite a legacy. In his 14 years, he has collected a Cy Young Award (2012), five All-Star appearances and a World Series title back in 2018 in Boston. Not a bad career for the Tampa Bay Rays’ number one pick of the 2007 draft.
Price was a member of the Dodgers’ championship roster, but he pulled himself out of action because of COVID-19 concerns leaving him out of the World Series run. Now things are very different. Price could become the second former Red Sox to cement his chapter in recent Dodgers championship lore by stepping on the mound during the playoffs to save a crucial game to win the NLCS or World Series in situations that have gone the other way for Los Angeles.
If he does, our MLBbro can walk off into the sunset with another World Series ring, a storybook ending and a hero’s sendoff.