David Price’s Other Outs | The Process Report

David Price’s Other Outs

Tommy covered David Price’s pitching earlier, but the southpaw’s night wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without three other big plays, including two pickoffs.

Price’s extracurricular activity started in the first inning, when he erased Elvis Andrus with a pickoff. The move he used wasn’t his best; he just came set, stepped off the rubber with his back foot, and threw the ball to first with an over-the-top motion. What made the move effective was James Loney’s positioning: By standing to the right of the bag, he was able to block Andrus from getting back in before the tag. It was a move reminiscent of Jason Bartlett, who used his knee to prevent basestealers from reaching second base.

Later in the game, Price picked Ian Kinsler off first base. It came after a few failed efforts, and with a more deceitful move. This time Price lifted his leg and turned his head, as though he were going to the plate; Kinsler took the bait and started toward second, which opened the window for the pickoff play. It’s not clear if Kinsler intended to steal second, of if he was employing a go-and-stop, which is a move he put on display against Alex Cobb during a series in September. Whatever the objective, Kinsler ran into an out, just as he did versus Cobb.


The final impact play was perhaps the most impressive, and came in the eighth inning with Andrus at the dish. The speedy shortstop laid down a bunt and tried legging out a single. It wasn’t the worst idea, and might have worked if the bunt were closer to the line, or if Price fell off toward the third-base side. Andrus is a fast runner, so this wasn’t a given by any means. Yet Price was able to get to the ball, scoop it with his glove, maintain his balance, maintain his footwork, and make an accurate glove toss in time:


There have and will continue to be comparisons between Price’s start on Monday night and his past postseason experiences against the Rangers. Price is a different pitcher, a better pitcher, now than he was then. It’s fitting then that Price stymied Andrus in a stolen-base situation and later in a fielding situation. Back in Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS, Price allowed Andrus to steal second, and then allowed him to score from second on a groundout to first base. Price has improved and matured since—he proved as much on Monday night.

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