Thursday, July 25, 2013
Price's efficiency overwhelms Red Sox
By ESPN Stats & Information
David Price had his way against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, allowing just one run on five hits in a complete-game victory.
Price is just the fourth visiting pitcher over the past 25 seasons to throw a nine-inning complete game at Fenway Park while throwing fewer than 100 pitches. The other two were Chuck Finley for the Angels in 1989 and Chien-Ming Wang for the Yankees in 2008.
Price has now thrown three complete games in his past four starts, and all three of those starts have been less than 100 pitches. He's the first pitcher since 2000 to throw three complete games in less than 100 pitches in a four-start span.
In fact, no pitcher since 2000 has had more than three nine-inning complete games with fewer than 100 pitches in an entire season. The only other pitchers with three in a season since 2000 are Mark Mulder in 2003, Brad Radke in 2001 and Greg Maddux in 2000.
How did Price dominate the Red Sox?
• Price was efficient. Only one plate appearance against him lasted beyond five pitches (David Ortiz - six), just the second time he's done that this season. In the month of July, opponents are averaging 3.0 pitches per plate appearance against Price.
• Price threw 41 of his 59 fastballs in the strike zone (70 percent), his second-highest percentage in 134 career starts. Fifteen of the 17 outs he recorded with the pitch were in the zone.
• Price started 23 of 31 hitters (74 percent) with a first-pitch strike and didn't stop there. He went to only one 2-0 count and one three-ball count the entire game. Among the 151 pitchers to make at least 10 starts this season, nobody goes to a 2-0 count less often than Price (6.8 percent of plate appearances).
No run support for Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg has not been fortunate when it comes to run support this season. He was unlucky again on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Strasburg is only the second pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) with at least 12 strikeouts, two or fewer hits allowed and no walks in a loss.
The other pitcher was James Shields last season for the Rays against the Orioles.
The Nationals ace has recorded at least 12 strikeouts four times in his career, and three of those outings are against the Pirates.
What went right for Strasburg?
• Strasburg induced 19 whiffs on 60 swings (32 percent), his third-highest percentage this season and something he's made a habit of against the Pirates in his career. The Pirates have missed on 41 percent of their swings against Strasburg, the highest rate of any starter against a single team since Strasburg's debut in 2010 (minimum four starts).
• The Pirates took 10 swings against Strasburg's changeup and missed on seven of them. Since 2010, they've missed on 68 percent of their swings against his changeup; all other teams have missed on 52 percent of their swings against that pitch.
• Though he had 19 swing-and-misses, only seven of his 12 strikeouts were swinging. His five looking strikeouts tied a career high and were as many as he had against the Pirates in his previous three starts combined.