DETROIT—Early in his Detroit Tigers' career, David Price had been perhaps a bit too good to be true. Wednesday night, in the midst of an ugly 8-4 loss to the New York Yankees, he was perhaps a bit too bad to be true.
Price was making his second home start, and it got off to an interesting beginning which would prove emblematic of the whole night .Price unimpressively scattered a single and a walk around three strikeouts. The erratic theme continued. In the third, Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a Derek Jeter single to give the Yankees an early lead. A pair of doubled by Mark Texiera and Carlos Beltran made it 4-0.
Four consecutive hits later, the Yankees led 6-0, and Price was chased in the mist of his second shortest start ever. The lead swelled to 8-0 on a pair of sacrifice flies before the inning ended. Offensively, Detroit was a lost cause against Shane Greene early, but did get a run in the fourth off a Miguel Cabrera single, and via a Victor Martinez home run in the sixth.
For both teams, that was nearly it. Detroit's bullpen did a decent job of slowing the onslaught for the next handful of innings, and Greene was strong through seven innings racking up eight strikeouts. Adam Warren allowed a run on a Nick Castellanos triple in the eighth and Torii Hunter plated a run in the third, but Detroit went down hard otherwise.
Top Tiger: The bullpen. In an otherwise ugly contest, one ray of hope was provided by the bullpen, which pitched seven scoreless innings during the game with five strikeouts and was impressive after plenty of early trouble. "They did a nice job, they kept their pitch counts down, got out of innings pretty quickly," Ausmus said. "It helped the way they got the outs quickly." As the skipper noted, that fact was huge for the Tigers, who throw young Kyle Lobstein tomorrow.
Bungling Bengal: David Price. What exactly happened? Price had been phenomenal in his first few starts with Detroit, and downright dominating during his last start in Tampa Bay. Tonight, everything went the other way in dramatic fashion. "It was just an off night," Brad Ausmus said "He left some balls up in the zone, middle of the plate. They hit some balls hard off him, they hit some balls not so hard that found some holes, it was just an off night for David Price." Price didn't make it through the third, but as Ausmus said, games like this have been a rarity for the lefty, earning him the benefit of the doubt.
The Turning Point: Price's rocky first inning. The statistics will show that Price struck out the side in the first inning, but it was an ugly outing which had its roots early on. The first batter of the game reached base, and Price had to fight to strike out Jeter, Texiera and Beltran. After that, the floodgates opened. It was the first sign that Price's night might not go as planned for Detroit and their ace.
Play Of The Game: Derek Jeter's pick and throw on Nick Castllanos. In the second, Jeter made a fantastic play at shortstop to throw out Castellanos. For those who have watched him through the years, the entire play was vintage Jeter, as was his third inning double courtesy of a smooth swing. "I can't think of one bad thing to say about him," Ausmus said afterward, noting the shortstop has been a fantastic ambassador for the game of baseball. This fantastic play was another highlight for a seemingly endless reel over a brilliant career.
Stat Of The Game: 9, the number of consecutive hits Detroit pitcher David Price allowed in the third inning. He was the first pitcher since Bob Forsch in 1989 to allow nine consecutive hits in an inning. The Cardinals previously turned the trick last September against the Pirates, but not all hits came off the same pitcher like they did in this instance. Talk about making the wrong kind of history.
Quote To Note: "Maybe he takes over for Cal Ripken and carries that torch." —Brad Ausmus. While praising Derek Jeter, Ausmus said he is a fantastic ambassador for baseball, and perhaps even took over for Ripken in that role. It's big praise for the shortstop, who has earned the respect of his peers over time, and was honored in a pre-game ceremony by the Tigers before the game.
What's Next: The Tigers and Yankees finish off their three game set on Thursday afternoon, with Hiroki Kuroda (9-8) pitching for New York and Kyle Lobstein (0-0) making a spot start for the Tigers trying to win the series.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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