Since his return from the disabled list, David Price has been unstoppable. It's hard to call it vintage David Price, because it's been the natural progression of a Cy Young winner. Price has improved, and it's an amazing feat.
David now has three complete games of less than 100 pitches since his 47-day DL stint, all with stellar velocity and control. Over his five starts since returning to action, Price has a 4-1 record with a 1.76 ERA, 41 IP, 27 K, 1 BB.
Twelve of his thirteen recorded outs were on groundballs*, to go with five hits, four strikeouts and no walks. It was a masterful performance against baseball's most potent offense. The only blemish: a Mike Napoli home run, unbuttoned on a pitch low and inside. He read it all the way, from the hand to the Green Monster.
Worth noting: Price's only other win to not feature a complete game in his last five starts: his first start off the DL in Houston, 70 pitches over seven innings.
This game didn't only belong to Price. After a rare mediocre night yesterday on defense by Yunel Escobar, our starting shortstop played some of the best glove we've seen all season, ending the game on a leaping catch above his head, and turning this glove flip:
After the game, Price called it the best he's seen from Escobar.
Of course, there was also offense in this game. The Rays did most of their damage to Felix Doubront in the second inning. Wil Myers plated the first two runs after singles by Jennings and Longoria, finding a single himself on a soft liner to center field (Zobrist tried plating Jennings on a sac bunt the at-bat prior to no avail). Myers and Zorilla then pulled off the double steal with Luke Scott at the plate, and he was able to sac-fly Zobrist home accordingly for a 3-0 lead.
Luke Scott would score the fourth run for the Rays on a James Loney single off Matt Thronton in the eighth (Scott was only on base due to a fielders choice that caught Myers), and Sean Rodriguez would score the fifth on a Jose Molina grounder through the left side. Nice to see the Rays leave that reminder with Thronton on their way through Boston.
The Rays win 5-1, and have won two of three. They'll look to take the series tomorrow in Game 4, with an opportunity to claim the lead in the AL East.
Favorite quote of the game:
Joe Maddon: "People are hyper-critical of who we were beating. The point is, we're playing good baseball."— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) July 25, 2013
This is the Rays second complete game victory by a southpaw in Boston over the last three days, and the good guys are back to 1/2 game behind the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Boston has only won three of their last eight, and every other team in the division lost tonight.
Can I get a hell yeah?