Price Spits Hot Fire; Rays Silence Orioles, 5-0

June 1, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

I'm going to pitch y'all an idea for supercool Sci-Fi series (skip to the bold if you want recap):

1,000 years from now, on the aging moon of St. Petersburg, a group of adventurers, are about to set out on a journey. They are Righteous And Yet Simple (RAYS). They search for a better world. A new place to call home. However, there's a problem: their resources are depleted, their numbers are few. Their ship, the TROP--named for its propulsion system: Thermal Reaction of Petroleum--is monolith of a bygone era. And if that weren't enough, their rough-and-tumble captain was cut down in a tragic jet-fuel-still explosion that took out a few red shirts, too.

All they have left are a ragtag gang of misfits. There's David, a young pilot that's as fast as they come, but needs to learn some control; Luke, a bad boy from the wrong side of the light rail tracks; Hideki, a mysterious traveler who is more than he seems; Katniss Fernando, the Archer, a mighty hunter; and finally, there's Joe, the wacky, crocked scientist who has the plan that's so crazy it just might work.

They only have enough fuel to make one shot. One explosive starburst to tomorrow and see where they land. They'll take anyplace. In fact, they'll take the First Place they see. Yes, the First Place it is, as they explode into the stars.

So whaddaya think? #SixSeasonsAndAMovie? No? OK, Fine, here's the recap:

The offense exploded on O's starter Wei-Yen Chen in the first inning and David Price cruised past the Orioles to lead the Rays to victory and sole possession of first place in the AL East.

Can I get back to my Sci-Fi pitch now? Really? Fine, more recap... after the jump.

Carlos Pena got the party started like Pink when he smacked a hustle double to right to lead off the game. It was some heads up base running, very leadoff hitter-ish. I point that out, because after advancing to third on a wild pitch, Pena was thrown out at home on a B.J. Upton grounder to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy was playing back on the ball, but Pena froze and thus got a horrendous jump and allowed Hardy to throw him out.

Why am I starting this thing off all Debbie Downer when it was a Rays Rout? Because this is the part of the story where the village is sacked, Ray Charles' brother dies, and William Wallace's Wife (say that three times fast) gets got.

But, Pena's hesitation would turn out to be irrelevant after Matt Joyce singled to right on a hung breaking pitch, Ben Zobrist drag bunted the bases loaded, and Luke Scott hit a sharp groundball single to score two and give the Rays a lead they would never relinquish.

Sean Rodriguez would execute a safety squeeze to perfection to score Zobrist, and Hideki Matsui jumped on the first pitch he saw and launched a beastshot down the rightfield line for a two-run homer and a 5-0 Rays lead. And just like that... there were goose eggs. Not another run for either team the entire night. Why? Because David Price, that's why.

The young lefty came out the gate like Lil Jon shooting clay pigeons--skeetin' errywhere. Price was perfect through four innings,but even 'perfect' doesn't describe how dominant he looked against the O's sluggers. He threw a first-pitch strike to every hitter the first time through the line up. He K'd just five (all in the first three innings), but never allowed the Orioles to make solid contact. He appeared to be a bit peeved after Matt Weiters broke up the perfecto in the fifth with a jamshot grounder that found a hole into right, but didn't let up throwing the fuzz, topping out at 98.1 MPH on the evening. His average fastball on the night was 95.88, so, yeah, he had hit going on.

Location

via www.brooksbaseball.net

The best part, however, was his command. Yes, Price walked two batters in a row in the sixth, but besides that momentary lapse, he was spot on with the hard, straight fastball on the inside to righties, and the backdoor cutter away.

Bullets:

  • Price's walks in the sixth got him in a bit of a hole, but a great play by B.J. Upton (and some shoddy O's base-running) saved the day. With the bases loaded and one out, J.J. Hardy hit a sure-to-be-a-sac-fly-ball to center. Getting aggressive, the O's had everyone tag up. Upton made a strike of a throw to second to catch Steve Tolleson before Bill Hall could score from third. By like one step. I figure, if Hall's on his horse, the run counts, but it was still an excellent throw by B.J.
  • Price steered our little band of misfits, but couldn't do it all on his own. Jake McGee came in relief in the eighth and continued the trend of spitting hot lefty fire. Burke Badenhop made things interesting in the ninth. By 'interesting' I mean "Oh, God. Oh, God. We're all going to die. Loaded the bases and allowed Fernendo Rodney to come in and get the two-out save whilst up by five runs.
  • And that's how an early explosion and a pitcher on cruise control can lead a scraggly group to First Place. Might make a good Sci Fi show. Just so you know, Ben Zobrist is a shape-shifting religious missionary, Desmond Jennings is the fastest laser-gun slinger this side of the Charybdis Quasar, and Price's dog Astro, is, well, Astro. Ah ha, I knew I had something before, this just confirms it. Hollywood, here I come! If you can think of any other characters, please describe them in the comments.
  • Tomorrow, Jeremy Hellickson takes on Brian "Nothing Else" Matusz @ 4:10 PM. To infinity and beyond!
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