The Los Angeles Dodgers trail the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in the NLCS, and it’s going to take a big effort for the defending World Series champs to make a comeback with the next two games coming on the road.
But one thing that could improve Los Angeles’ chances is the addition of pitcher David Price.
On Friday, the Dodgers added Price to the NLCS roster to replace Joe Kelly, who suffered a right bicep strain in Game 5 and is likely to miss the remainder of the postseason. The left-hander will serve as a relief pitcher, which is a serious need right now considering how exhausted the bullpen is.
Dodgers add David Price to NLCS roster and here’s how it can help
The 36-year-old Price joined the Dodgers this year after opting out of last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was traded from the Boston Red Sox to Los Angeles in 2020 as a part of the deal that also included Mookie Betts.
During the 2021 season, Price pitched in 39 games, starting 11, and finished with 4.03 ERA. He has not made any postseason appearances for the Dodgers but will have the chance to in Game 6 (and Game 7, if they are able to extend the series).
The seven-time All-Star is well removed from his 2012 Cy Young-level of dominance but he provides Los Angeles a well-rested veteran arm that still has a lot of stuff. He will be deployed out of a bullpen that has been taxed this series and will bring his postseason experience to the table.
Though his 4.62 ERA in 23 career playoff games is rather unsightly, his last run with the Red Sox in 2019 was impressive. The value here is that he can throw multiple innings and he’s used to pitching in these types of high-leverage situations.
The Dodgers will need all the help they can get if they stand a chance at winning the next two games in Atlanta. After falling behind 2-0, the Dodgers and the Braves have exchanged victories in the last three outings. Los Angeles is trying to pull off a rare feat they accomplished just last season, coming back from a 3-1 deficit. The 2020 NLCS played out the exact same way with Atlanta going up 2-0 before eventually blowing the 3-1 lead.
The Dodgers, however, have looked far more shaky this year and actually have to travel and play road games as they attempt the comeback. And this time, home-field advantage is real. While the loss of Kelly hurts, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better addition at this juncture than someone such as Price, who has finished top-two in the Cy Young voting four times in his career.