Saturday, May 28, 2011
Price is right for swings and misses
Coming off consecutive starts in which he allowed five earned runs, David Price bounced back in a big way striking out a career-high 12 batters as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Cleveland Indians.
Price overpowered the Indians hitters as they swung and missed on 17 pitches against Price, the most for Price in his past 18 starts. He had great command of his fastball as 15 of the 17 swings and misses were against the heater, including seven which resulted in strikeouts.
The Rays ace displayed great control working the corners of the plate. Of Price's 110 pitches, 81 were either on the inside or outside corner of the plate. The Indians went 1-for-13 with eight strikeouts in at-bats ending with a pitch inside or outside.
Price also mixed in his slider well, throwing 14, his second highest total in any game this season. Cleveland went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in at-bats ending with the slider.
While Price was brilliant, he did receive some help with poor plate awareness from the Indians batters. Cleveland missed on 46 percent and chased 39 percent of balls outside of the strikezone (both season highs for Price).
Ugly swings were a theme throughout the night in this game for both teams. Matt LaPorta of the Indians and B.J. Upton of the Rays each struck out four times in Friday's game.
The only other game this season to feature two "Golden Sombreros" was on May 12, when Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth both recorded four strikeouts for the Nationals against Atlanta.
Elsewhere around the majors:
• While LaPorta and Upton had rough nights, perhaps no one had a more forgettable Friday than Drew Stubbs. Batting out of the leadoff spot, Stubbs was the only Cincinnati Reds hitter to have six plate appearances against the Atlanta Braves. He went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.
The only other Reds player to do this in a nine-inning game in the live-ball era was Art Shamsky against the Giants on Oct. 1, 1965.
Out of the leadoff spot, Baseball-Reference.com shows us that only two other players have done it in a nine-inning game in the live-ball era. Oddly, all three of their teams won the game in spite of their dismal line.
• While former Red and current Chicago White Sox player Adam Dunn suffered a four-strikeout game on Thursday, he rebounded Friday drawing four walks in a loss against the Toronto Blue Jays.
According to Elias, the last time a player struck out four or more times and then walked four or more times the next game was Jim Thome in 2000.