Simply put, David Price was outstanding. Four of the six hits he allowed were doubles -- that's not good -- but he dominated the Mariners' lineup, striking out 12 and walking none, improving his MLB best strikeout-to-walk ratio to 11.67.
He made a living last night pumping heaters high to Molina's glove side, getting five of his twelve strikeouts in that location. Notice the cluster of black dots in the upper-left corner.
What was most impressive was the sustained, and increased, velocity shown by Price. He came into the game averaging 92 mph, but was sitting 95 mph all night. His last pitch of the night, the fastball that Justin Smoak flailed at, registered 96.6 mph. This was the David Price and have come to expect after his dominant end to the 2013 season. Thankfully his effort wasn't all for naught.
The Rays are one of the only teams, if not THE only team, to not have a walkoff victory this season. Obviously a walkoff can't come on the road, but this certainly felt like it. The offense had struggled all night against Hisashi Iwakuma, racking up just four hits and no walks. Then came on old friend Fernando Rodney to close it out.
Every team who faces Rodney knows what to expect, a fastball in the high 90s and a devastating changeup. David DeJesus, one of the hottest hitters in baseball lately, fell behind in the count and seemingly sat on the changeup. He got one that caught far too much of the plate and deposited it into the right field stands to tie the game. After outs by Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist, the Rays took the lead with three straight singles by James Loney, Desmond Jennings, and Matt Joyce.
It's a victory the team desperately needed with their ace on the mound. With the way the rotation and bullpen have struggled there isn't a more satisfying victory than seeing Price go the distance.