Well, that certainly didn’t go as planned. Neither David Price nor the Rays could build on their respective previous starts Saturday night, as Tampa Bay got drilled by the Colorado Rockies, losing handily by a score of 9-3. The redundant plot line was the same: Rays take lead, Rays give up lead, Rays lose the game. And though David Price gave up a career worst nine runs — raising his ERA 6.25 — I’d be hesitant to place the blame on he and he alone; sloppy fielding and a quiet offense certainly didn’t help the cause.
David Price is now 1-3 on the season, having given up the lead in five of his six starts. Ideas of what could be hampering the Rays ace swirled once more after Price (again) mentioned that there is nothing is wrong with him physically.
“We’re not used to that with David either,” Rays skipper Joe Maddon said. “I really believe it’s going to come back to us. I don’t have a good answer for that. If anything, his velocity is down just a click, and with that, maybe the other pitches aren’t playing the same off that.”
Price admitted that he had trouble getting a grip on the ball in the thin Colorado air. “It was tough, it was a little bit different,” said Price. He noticeably tried licking his fingers throughout the game, rubbing down the balls that felt too slick. Price went on to say,
“I’ve just got to make better pitches, especially in those big spots. And that not what I’m doing right now. It’s frustrating. It is.”
Case in point: The five run, four hit (three singles and a grand slam), one walk seventh inning, where all the damage came with two outs. Sound familiar? It should.
The inning started off innocently enough. Price quickly got Eric Young to ground out to short, following that up with a swinging strikeout. The quick handed Gonzalez slapped a single to right, and Troy Tulowitzki reached on an infield single to third, sending Gonzalez to second. Both runners were able to move up thanks to an Evan Longoria throwing error. Michael Cuddyer then reached on a misplayed RBI infield single to Ben Zobrist. Price would walk the next batter to load the bases, bringing Arenado — who hadn’t hit a homer until the Rays series — to the plate. Arenado crushed a 1-1 hanging curveball to deep center, quickly killing any hope of a Rays comeback in the ninth.
The combination of Price not being able to close things out and sloppy fielding (cough, the two things that the Rays are best at) were enough to sound the death knell last night. To be fair though, going 2-7 wRISP while stranding nine on the bags surely didn’t help the cause either. I digress.
The New What Next
The Tampa Bay Rays will attempt to walk out of Denver with a series win and a 4-5 record on this road trip, Sunday afternoon. Alex Cobb will try to rectify things against Tyler Chatwood and the Rockies, following his train-wreck of a start five days ago. It will be interesting to see how Cobb chooses to mix his pitches. Will he readily rely on his curveball in the thin mountain air? Will he lead with his fastball? We’ll see in a few hours. You can read more on the match-up here.
Rays Cinco De Mayo Starting Lineup
- With the loss, goes the streak. The Rays streak of 17 consecutive games with a home run came to an end last night.
- Yunel Escobar is listed as day-to-day after getting hit by a pitch in the second inning of last night’s game. The x-rays came back negative, and he is expected to miss at least 2-to-3 days with a left hand contusion.