Although Bud Selig says this one counts, it's hard to really get upset about the American League's loss to the National League in the All Star game. Maybe when the Rays make the World Series, and do not have home field advantage it will mean more, but for now I am more excited about how David Price pitched than anything.
For most of the franchise's existence the All Star game has been a charity case. Pre-Sternberg era, the Rays would send their one representative who would get an inning of playing time late in the game and that was it. The times have changed. Last year, the Rays sent their entire infield to the mid-summer classic. This year, they had three starters including the game's starting pitcher - something that seemed inconceivable three years ago.
The radar gun in Anaheim may have had some All Star jitters, but every radar reading available had Price throwing heat. He threw 22 fastballs in 23 pitches with an average velocity of 97.92 mph. He maxed out at 99.6. Of his 22 heaters, 15 of them landed for a strike - including two swinging strikes. More importantly, Price tossed two scoreless innings against some of the National League's best hitters.
He did get some help from his buddy Evan Longoria. Longo started one of his signature 5-4-3 double plays to end the second inning and close the book on Price. Longoria also recorded hit a double, walk, and scored a run. Carl Crawford was officially 0-2, but he reached on a fielder's choice in the fifth inning. Soon after he would swipe the AL's only stolen base. Both Rays' would be stranded at one point in the game - shocking. Rafael Soriano came in to pitch a perfect eighth inning, but the damage was already done at that point.
Congrats to the Rays' All Stars. Thanks for making us look good.