Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price faced 918 batters this season, and on 22 occasions he served up a home run. During yesterday’s ALDS Game Three against the Texas Rangers, Price gave up a key seventh inning two run home run to Mike Napoli.
Where most pitchers prefer the stoic look away when one of the pitches gets clobbered over the fence, Price has the exact same reaction as a fan of his team would. He turns his back and watches the ball sail over the fence, quickly flashes an incredulous glance toward heaven and then gets ready to face the next batter.
While the Rays ace didn’t have his best stuff yesterday, he certainly deserved better than the one run of support he got before getting pulled three batters after the Napoli home run. In fact, this season, Tampa Bay’s lineup gave David Price a measly 18 runs of support in his 13 losses.
His reaction in Game Three reminded me of a home run he gave up to Jose Bautista earlier this season. During a game against the Blue Jays in late April, Price employed a strict no fastballs policy when pitching to the Toronto slugger after Bautista took him deep in his previous at bat. This time around Price avoided the strike zone until the count was 3-1. He threw a perfect changeup on the outside part of the plate, but Bautista extended on it and somehow managed to pull it into the left field bleachers for his seventh home run of the season.
This is how Price reacted then:
What more could I have possibly done?