Daily Process: Price Dominates, Fuld Does Fuld Things | The Process Report

Daily Process: Price Dominates, Fuld Does Fuld Things

We’ve talked quite a bit about Wade Davis taking off velocity in favor of control over the past few days. David Price, on the other hand, is not having any of that talk. Blessed with a blazing fastball, he put the heater on display early and often against the White Sox. Price threw 114 pitches total with 82 of them being of the fastball variety. Not only did he throw them in bunches (the first 30 pitches or so), but he routinely hit the mid-90s and topped out at just over 97 MPH.

When Price was not feeling the heat, he went to his new toy – the changeup. During the spring. I wrote about Price’s evolution with the changeup. That work has now carried over into the regular season. Coming into tonight’s game, he has used the pitch around 15% of the time with good success. He threw another 25 off-speed pitches in this one with 17 of them going for a strike – including three whiffs. He induced 10 swing and misses overall.

The Rays’ ace absolutely wore out the first-base side of the plate. Facing a mostly right-handed lineup without Adam Dunn in the middle, Price went away, away, away versus the righties. You cannot argue with the process or the result which was 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 9k.  

Considering the Rays’ lineup this evening, there were a few jokes about the pitching staff needing a shutout to get the win tonight. Although Price – and later Joel Peralta – held up that end of the bargain, the patchwork offense got to Edwin Jackson early and never looked back. In fact, this group scored more runs and had more hits versus Jackson the past offenses did in three games combined.

Starting with Sam Fuld at the top of the lineup, Tampa Bay jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Fuld continued his ridiculous run to start the season with another four-hit game. He now leads the American League in hitting at .396. His weighted on-base average through the first 58 plate appearances is well over .400. Making his first start in center field this season, Fuld did more Sam Fuld things in the outfield as he made yet another diving catch. Although his hitting will come down at some point, the approach at the plate, the speed, and the defense should all be sustainable.

Fuld wasn’t the only offensive performer tonight. Felipe Lopez – the cleanup hitter – drove in three runs with three hits including an eighth-inning home run off Matt Thornton. Also contributing with a home run was Ben Zobrist, who hit another towering shot to right field for his blast run of the season. Nearly as hot as Fuld over the last week, Matt Joyce added another two hits to his season total.

Defensively, the Rays rebounded from a rough outing on Sunday. As mentioned, Fuld made some highlight plays in the outfield. Ben Zobrist also made a diving catch of his own. Along the infield Sean Rodriguez made a fine play at the hot corner; however, the play of the night belong to Reid Brignac. In the top of the second inning, Ramon Castro grounded a ball past a diving Rodriguez at third base. Showing tremendous range, Brignac made a diving stop behind Rodriguez and came up with a laser throw to put out the slow-running catcher.

After the drama of the last few victories, it was nice for the team and the fans to get a wire-to-wire win that was never really in doubt.



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