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Despite poor postseason record, David Price remains confident

David Price of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches

David Price of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in relief in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Oct. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David Price doesn't run from his lack of postseason success.

"I know it's there," the lefthander said after the Blue Jays' ALDS Game 1 loss to the Rangers in which he fell to 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA in his postseason career as a starter. "I want that monkey off my back."

The 30-year-old, the crown jewel of the Blue Jays' trade deadline haul that helped propel them to the AL East title, gets another crack Saturday afternoon in ALCS Game 2 against the Royals.

"I know it's going to come," Price said before Friday night's Game 1. "I have a hundred percent confidence in myself."

Price, who will be a free agent in the offseason, is coming off a rather odd ALDS. He took the loss in Game 1, allowing five runs and five hits in seven innings. Then, strangely, he picked up the victory in relief of R.A. Dickey in Game 4 but was far from effective, allowing three runs and six hits in an 8-4 victory.

The 50-pitch relief appearance took Price out of consideration for the start in Game 5 of that series -- former Patchogue-Medford High School star Marcus Stroman got the start -- and Marco Estrada got the ball in Friday night's Game 1.

Though it would not seem to be an ideal pitching schedule, Price said he was fine with it.

"I mean, whatever this team wants me to do to try and help them win, I'm all about it," Price said. "I knew I was going to be starting one of these games. [Saturday is] my normal day's rest from when I threw Game 4 in Texas. So Marco has been throwing the ball extremely well all season long. I completely get it, and I'll be ready to go [Saturday]."

Price, 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA after the Tigers traded him to the Blue Jays, faced the Royals twice this season, both times while with Detroit. He threw a five-hitter in a 2-1 victory May 2 at Kauffman Stadium but was knocked around by the Royals six days later in Detroit, allowing four earned runs and 13 hits, though the Tigers still prevailed, 6-5.

"They do a great job of putting the ball in play, they have a lot of team speed," Price said of a club that ranked second in the American League this season with 104 stolen bases. "They can cause a lot of trouble for pitchers whenever they have runners on base. You don't want to allow the Royals to get a free 90 feet."

Price, however, is a difficult pitcher to run against, surrendering zero stolen bases this season.

"Get rid of it quick, that's kind of something I've focused in on," Price said before referencing conversations he used to have with the manager he came up with in Tampa Bay -- a man who now is in the NLCS with the Cubs. "It's something that Joe Maddon and myself talked about, and it's something I talked about that the Royals do really well. They can produce runs with outs. If that leadoff guy gets on, you can't allow him just to steal second base, get a free 90 feet. Then you have a ground ball to the right side or two ground balls to the right side and it's a run . . . Try to mix up your holds, just be quick to the plate."

It could be the difference between Price finally winning a postseason start or seeing that part of an otherwise sterling career resume further sullied.

"I want to be able to step up for my teammates and this organization and all our fans in Canada," Price said. "But good things are coming, I know they are. I've got confidence in that."


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