Price changes speed to down Angels
April, 25, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Kim Klement/US PresswireDavid Price tossed his second career shutout against the Angels on Tuesday.David Price tossed his second career shutout as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Tuesday. It was his first complete game since July 2, 2010, a stretch of 52 starts without completing a game.
Facing an Angels’ lineup that did not feature a left-handed hitter, Price relied on his changeup. He recorded a career-high 10 outs on at-bats ending with the pitch. After throwing only 39 changeups among 296 pitches in his first three starts, 29 of his 119 pitches on Tuesday were changeups.
Success with the changeup also helped Price with his fastball. Angels’ hitters were 1-for-15 in at-bats ending with a fastball. In his first three starts this season, batters hit .225 with one home run against Price’s heat.
In his previous starts this season, Price had trouble retiring hitters after getting to two strike counts. Entering Tuesday’s game, opponents were 9-for-36 with two strikes against Price. On Tuesday, the Angels were 0-for-13 with two strikes.
Around the Diamond – Home Run Edition
• Chipper Jones turned 40 today, and hit a home run on his birthday for the fifth time in his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that ties Alex Rodriguez and Todd Helton for the most homers on a player’s birthday among active players.
• Two of the three shortest home runs of the season were hit Tuesday night. B.J. Upton hit the left-field foul pole for a round-tripper that traveled 323 feet. That’s the shortest ball to clear the fence so far this season. Matt Wieters hit a home run that shouldn’t even have cleared the fence – it flew 345 feet before bouncing off Eric Thames' glove and into the stands.
• One player who hasn’t been hitting home runs this season is Albert Pujols. Pujols went 0-for-4 for the Angels in their loss at the Rays. Dating back to last season, he has gone 23 games without a homer. That’s the second longest drought of his career, behind only a 26-game streak last season.
He has gone 69 at-bats this season without going deep, the fifth-longest run of at-bats without a home run in a single season in his career. Among players who changed teams after hitting 400 or more home runs with one team, only Willie McCovey went longer before hitting a homer for his new team.
Dan Braunstein contributed to this post.