KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Contrary to some of the speculation suggesting otherwise, David Price says he has no issues with how he's been used recently.
"I'm not upset with how things have transpired throughout the playoffs," Price said Thursday on the eve of his start in ALCS Game 6 as the Blue Jays attempt to force a seventh game against the Royals. "At this point in the season, you've got to be ready for whatever. I didn't see it to be a big deal."
But baseball players are creatures of routine and habit, starting pitchers probably most of all, and Price's last several weeks haven't seemed ideal.
The lefthander had 11 days off from the time of his last regular-season start to ALDS Game 1 against the Rangers, a 5-3 loss. Then there was his insertion into Game 4 of that series, with the Blue Jays ahead 7-1 at the time. Price was not sharp, allowing three runs and six hits in three innings of an 8-4 victory.
He pitched brilliantly for seven innings in ALCS Game 2 before a misplayed seventh-inning pop-up opened the floodgates to a five-run inning and a 6-3 Royals victory that dropped Price to 0-7 in the postseason as a starter.
With Aaron Loup missing much of the postseason while dealing with a personal issue and Brett Cecil suffering a season-ending calf injury in ALDS Game 2, manager John Gibbons has lacked lefty options in the bullpen. He got Price up during the Blue Jays' 7-1 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday, again with a big lead, though he didn't put him in the game.
"We don't have a lefty in the pen," Price said. "And I understand that, I get it."
He added: "Texas might have been a little bit weird, but we've definitely moved past that. There's good communication, they definitely keep me in the loop with what could happen, the type of situation that I could be in the game, and I'm open for that."
Two topics dominated Price's meeting with reporters on Thursday -- the way he's been used and his career-long struggles in the postseason, which have continued in 2015.
"I haven't got a win as a starter in the playoffs. I guess I have to prove that I can pitch at this point in the season in the playoffs, I get that," Price said. "But I don't have to go out there and prove that I'm a good pitcher. I think I've done that over the seven years of my career."
Royals manager Ned Yost doesn't care what the postseason ledger says about Price, 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA in his career, including 18-5, 2.45 this season.
"You go back on track record and see what he's capable of doing, and when he's on, he's as tough as any pitcher in this league," Yost said. "So you just have to hope that day maybe he's going to make a mistake or two and you don't miss it."
Price has made too many of those to this point in his postseason career, a narrative he always believes is a start away from changing.
"It's been long overdue for me to get a win as a starter in the playoffs," he said. "And I'll be ready to change that story tomorrow."