When David Price signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox after the 2015 season, envisioning him coming through with a huge playoff outing in a win was certainly in the cards. It's just that how we got here was a bit roundabout. Picture upon Price's signing thinking about him being an ace reliever in the 2017 playoffs and give yourself a hearty chuckle. 

I often say baseball is fun and this is yet another in an infinite number of examples. 

David Price, playoff relief ace. Drink it in. 

Price took over Sunday in the fourth inning with the Red Sox clinging to a 4-3 lead. Given that they were trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series against the Astros, this was the moment where Price needed to take the game over. He answered the call and put his team on his back before the offense exploded late for a 10-3 victory

Price would throw 57 pitches in four scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and one walk while striking out four. 

As impressive as this outing was, it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Since coming back in September to be a reliever -- due to an elbow injury that has hampered him all season -- Price has yet to allow a run. To close the regular season, he worked 8 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 13 and walking just two. Add in the playoffs and Price is up to 15 1/3 innings in relief this year, with a 0.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 19 strikeouts and four walks. 

Remember how rightfully crazy we went for Andrew Miller last postseason? The lanky Indians lefty worked 11 2/3 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts in the ALDS and ALCS combined. Since becoming a reliever out of necessity, Price has done something virtually the same, albeit only with only 6 2/3 of the innings coming in the playoffs so far. 

David Price, playoff relief ace. Drink it in. 

Not only is baseball fun, but it's funny. Price has long been one of the best starters in baseball. He has a Cy Young and has been the runner-up twice in Cy Young voting. He's led the league in ERA twice, innings pitched twice and strikeouts once. He was a workhorse until the injury plagued him this season. 

And yet, the one black mark on Price's resume was his past playoff performances. As a starter in the playoffs, Price is 0-8 with a 5.77 ERA. We know he's capable of coming through in the clutch thanks to his complete-game gem in the one-game playoff in Texas in 2013 to help his Rays qualify for the second AL wild card, but that was technically a regular-season game. In terms of posteason starts, Price has unfortunately been saddled with a long line of failures, even when he wasn't even pitching poorly. The narratives gain steam rather easily this time of year, so Price was labeled a choker, especially in the unforgiving New England media. 

The outing Sunday was the complete opposite. After yet another awful outing from a starting pitcher -- this time it was Doug Fister -- Red Sox manager John Farrell turned to Price. The situation was desperate. Price needed to keep the Astros off the board through the middle of the game or the Red Sox season was over. He stepped up and got the job done like he's been a stud reliever for years, not simply weeks. 

At one point, Price could be seen roaring as he walked off the mound. Consider it the release after nine frustrating postseason starts and years of hearing about how he couldn't get the job done when it mattered most. 

The Red Sox still need to win two more games without losing to advance to the ALCS. For now, though, Price played the role of hero. The series likely isn't extended without his Andrew Miller impression. 

David Price, playoff relief ace. Drink it in, indeed.