When the Rays sent David Price to Durham and placed him under a pitch-allowance, they essentially tied his dominant arm behind his back and made him try and do everything with his weaker arm. This while making him work on his off-speed pitch. The Rays stacked the odds against Price, challenging him to endure and persevere, and for the most part he did okay. Last time out, it appeared that all of that work was for not, today though, was a different story.
Early on, this looked like the same David Price that couldn't make it through four whole innings in Cleveland. But things quickly got better. 25 pitches in the first, 15 for strikes; 22 pitches in the second, 15 for strikes; 17 in the third, 13 for strikes; 11 pitches in the fourth, 9 for strikes; 21 pitches in the fifth, 16 for strikes; and finally 12 pitches in the sixth, 8 for strikes. All told, 108 pitches with 76 strikes. A glance at the strike zone plot shows an arbitrary floor. A floor that Price would adjust and eventually work around as the game endured.
Price recorded 17 outs today, 11 were via the strikeout. Add 14 swinging strikes to his seasonal results and Price has 21 to date. That gives Price a 10% swinging strike rate on the season, equal to Tim Lincecum. 12 of those whiffs today came on fastballs; average velocity of 94.8 MPH. Overall, Price sat around 94-95 all day and topped out at 97. He threw two changes (average: 85.5) and 29 sliders (average: 87.21, topped out at 90.8) with no signs of a spike curve.
Despite a few chinks in the armor, Price has otherworldly talent. That shined through today more so than in any of his previous outings. The Twins were bedazzled by Price today. Get used to it; we're going to be seeing similar feats of domination over the duration of Price's career.