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The Rays Tank: DP is on, DP is most likely gone

Brian Blanco

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>11 K&#39;s and a tip of the cap from <a href="https://twitter.com/DAVIDprice14">@DAVIDprice14</a>: <a href="http://t.co/9JlF5FhQMP">pic.twitter.com/9JlF5FhQMP</a></p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/statuses/481884697304125440">June 25, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

We know it's coming, and it makes sense, but I hate these "potentially his last start at home" games. Though I will say, I had tears streaming down my face when it was James Shields leaving the mound and B.J. Upton on the bench crying into a towel. Those apparently tugged at my ole heart strings a wee bit more for some reason.

David Price shared postgame yesterday that he's, "never been as good as I am right now, period...this is the best pitcher I've ever been."

Is he right? Looking at the numbers, seems so:

  • DP is the the first pitcher to throw 5 consecutive games with 10 or more strikeouts, the first to do so since Johan Santana with the Twins in 2004.
  • He's had 8 Games with 10 or more K's in 2014, which is a team record and three more than any other pitcher (Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka).
  • In his five June starts he's had 54 strikeouts, making that the franchise record for any month, which was previously held by Scott Kazmir at 50 in August 2007.
  • And they just keeping coming: in four straight starts David has worked 8 IP and recorded 10 strikeouts, making him the first guy to do that since Randy Johnson in 2002.
  • Is the first pitcher to record 8 double-digit strikeout games in his team's first 80 games since Curt Schilling in 2002, and the first AL pitcher to do so since Pedro Martinez in 2001.
  • Probably the most impressive: Price is on pace for 292 strikeouts, which would be the most in the majors since 2002 and in the AL since 1999.

(Stats c/o Marc Topkin and the Rays press team)

Though per what he's expressed this week, it's apparent DP doesn't want to believe that he's long and gone just yet,

"My last batter at Vanderbilt was a home run," Price said. "My last hitter last year was a home run (in the playoffs) when I thought I was gone. You guys think I'm out of here now, and my last hitter for the Rays was a home run again. So take that into consideration."

Links:

- To add to Price's stellar time right now, Vanderbilt beat Virginia to claim their first College World Series title.

- Carlos Pena is back in the majors with the Rangers, and with his return comes hitting home runs into batches of brisket. Seriously.

- These will never get old. A young Royals fan received a surprise reunion with his his dad at the Royals game Tuesday night, not knowing his father was back after a year-long tour of duty. All the feels.

- The Freak was the old Tim Lincecum yesterday, and the best part of it all: the season numbers he's this year and the last, the years of his two no-hitters.

- The Hardball Times continues to produce quality pieces, sharing "The Complicated Serenity of Being On-Deck" today.