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David Price Rocked, Ends Roll

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  • Great job by the bullpen A) keeping the score the same and B) eating just enough innings to do the job.
  • More on David Price in a few paragraphs, but for all the talk about his velocity being down, pitchfx currently has his four-seamer at 93.5 MPH for the season. Last year he was at 93.8. Confirmation bias or memory loss?
  • Right time, right place luck from Carlos Pena and Willy Aybar, especially in the ninth. Scott Downs is awesome, to beat him twice in two days is pretty unusual, but here we are.
  • Speaking of which, the Rays are guaranteed six wins on this 10 game road trip. Realistically, you can't expect to sweep a team, but if they can, 7-3 is absolutely wonderful. It's funny how quickly a team propels you over a perfect game by going out and dueling with Roy Halladay then coming back by eight runs.

Price was knocked around today. 3 IP, 18 TBF, 3 HR (on 10 fly balls), zero walks, and a strikeout. His command wasn't bad (38/56 strikes) but his location/command were horrible. Something worth noting: Price threw more curves today than he has before. Check this:


Pricelocation_medium

Lots of pitches over the middle, right? Well, Price's home runs were each on fastballs over the middle and up. As you can see here:


Pricehra_medium

Thanks to those pitches, we're now burdened with a bunch of comments calling for his demotion. He sucks. He's overrated. Hickey ruined him. Whatever. Over the last 30 days (entering today, mind you) Price's FIP is 4.47. His ERA 5.49. Yes, the walks are still up, but so are the strikeouts. We've discussed that his walk rate is going to drop (speaking of which, 3 walks in the past 70 TBF; 4.2%) but the simple truth is, over the last four weeks, he's pitched as well as James Shields.

I guess you could send him down, but he's starting to show confidence in his curve and change-up. His fastball command has and will probably always be spotty. That's what got him in trouble today, nothing else. His velocity was fine, his movement was fine, his command today was hellacious. It happens.

 

Start P TBF BB SO GB% SwStr% Strike%
1 100 19 5 6 25 7 57
2 108 25 2 11 36.36 12.96 70.37
3 106 24 5 3 46.67 4.72 50
4 105 20 6 6 37.5 6.67 58.1
5 99 30 0 5 17.39 8.08 71.72
6 88 24 2 2 50 4.55 69.32
7 96 25 5 4 43.75 7.29 58.33
8 61 12 5 3 25 8.2 54.1
9 103 25 1 7 31.25 10.68 63.11
10 108 27 2 6 36.84 11.11 63.89
11 56 18 0 1 23.53 1.79 67.86

 

The home runs today will kill his FIP, his tRA, and the perception around him, but he hasn't pitched poorly as of late; in fact he's been pitching right to league average expectations. If you weren't in favor of sending him down a month ago, you definitely shouldn't be in favor now.