Price In Command Versus Cincinnati | The Process Report

Price In Command Versus Cincinnati

A week ago David Price did not look like David Price. Flu-like symptoms before his start against the Rangers nearly caused him to miss his second start of the season. The lefty battled the ailment to go six innings, strike out six and keep his team in the game, but four runs on nine hits showed it was a struggle. Feeling much better against the Reds on Friday night, the Price we have come to expect was back on the mound.

Finishing just two outs shy of his first complete game of the season, Price was dominant in Cincinnati. He allowed just one run – a solo shot by Joey Votto in the ninth inning – while striking out 10 Reds and walking just one. The 28-year-old threw 114 pitches with an overwhelming majority of them for strikes. Unlike last weekend when he battled with command, Price had a tight grip of all his pitches.

Price’s changeup ended up stealing the show, but commanding his fastball allowed for that to happen. Throwing the heater between 92-95 mph, he pounded the zone to the tune of nearly 80 percent strikes with the pitch. Facing a lineup featuring seven right-handed batters, he set a target on the outer half of the plate and peppered it with fastballs.

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With the fastball allowing him to word ahead in the count (17 of 22 first-pitch fastballs went for a strike or an out), Price was able to coax the Reds into chasing the off-speed pitch. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he threw 33 changeups on Friday, establishing a new career-high. He allowed just one hit off the pitch while completing seven of his 10 strikeouts and 12 of the 25 outs he generated overall. Cincinnati hitters took 22 swings against the changeup and came up empty 12 times. With the fastball working arm-side and elevated, the off-speed came to the same side, but down and nearly 10 mph slower.

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Perhaps Price’s best display of sequencing and command came in a seventh-inning encounter with Reds’ catcher Devin Mescoraco. The young slugger swung and missed at the first pitch – a 79-mph curveball – before fouling off a pair of pitches located over the plate (curveball followed by a cutter). Ahead 0-2, Price threw an 85-mph changeup low and away, inducing another whiff from Mesoraco to complete the punchout.

Because its’ success is predicated on grip, the changeup is very much a “feel” pitch. Some nights it will flow like water while others it will cause a pitcher to drown in sorrow. Along with fastball command, Price certainly had a good feel for the off-speed on Friday night. As far as the Reds, however, they were left feeling some type of other way about it.



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