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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shelton: David Price’s Cy-worthy start against Yankees saves Tampa Bay Rays’ season for now

As noted glider turned rider, Ed Charles Kettering, stated…“Problems are not the Price of progress.”

When the Cy Young voters cast their ballots, perhaps they should consider this game. Frankly, it was Price’s finest argument for the award yet.

Yes, baseball is a game of statistics, and a great many voters find wins and losses less reliable than ERA or WHIP or batting average against when they are choosing the year’s best pitcher. And that’s fine.

Still, baseball is also a game of moments, of standing up to the pressure against an All-Star lineup when the playoffs are on the line. It is about taming Alex Rodriguez with two outs and two runners on and a one-run lead, the way Price did in the fifth. It is about stopping a free fall when the stakes are high.

Here’s a question: What’s the argument against Price? The 27-year-old leads the majors in ERA and the American League in wins. He is now 18-5, including 10-1 in his past 15 starts. In eight matchups against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, the Rays have won seven. (Price is 5-1 in those games).

Also, he lifts his team in the most important moments, the ones that look a lot like Friday night. It doesn’t matter what sport an athlete plays or what position. The big moments always define the stars. Price might as well have been a quarterback leading a comeback or a point guard hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer or a goalie sprawled out to make the clutch save. Just asking, but shouldn’t that count for something?

“It’s got to count,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “The Yankees. This park. Everything that was at stake. It’s got to count.”

Repoz Posted: September 15, 2012 at 07:44 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, rays, yankees

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   1. SG Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4236418)
Price was good, but it's really getting tiresome that people are pretending these are "THE YANKEES" of years past. The team Price faced last night had Russell Martin and his .208/.312/.381 line batting fifth, Andruw Jones and his .200/.293/.404 line batting sixth and Steve Pearce and Eduardo Nunez hitting eighth and ninth.

Yeah, there are platoon reasons for that lineup, but it's not a good lineup.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4236421)
sg

that's a bobby v excuse

//joke
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4236464)
Price was good, but it's really getting tiresome that people are pretending these are "THE YANKEES" of years past. The team Price faced last night had Russell Martin and his .208/.312/.381 line batting fifth, Andruw Jones and his .200/.293/.404 line batting sixth and Steve Pearce and Eduardo Nunez hitting eighth and ninth.

Of course you'd have to watch the games to know that. Not that this takes anything away from Price, but in terms of actual strength on the field this is a shell of "The Yankees" of recent years.

Yeah, there are platoon reasons for that lineup, but it's not a good lineup.

Number of Yankees' starting position players, including DH, with an OPS+ of 120 or more:

2009: 7 (Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Swisher, Matsui)
2010: 5 (Teixeira, Cano, Rodriguez, Swisher, Thames)
2011: 3 (Teixeira, Cano, Granderson)
2012: 1 (Cano)

Unless Pettitte miraculously retrieves his June form, Nova revisits 2011, and Sabathia does a 180, this team ain't going nowhere. As of now, the Orioles, Rays, and A's are all clearly better than they are.
   4. GregD Posted: September 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4236468)
2012: 1 (Cano)
Well Jeter is at 119. But your overall point holds. Bouton: Yankees Stink
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4236473)
2012: 1 (Cano)
Well Jeter is at 119. But your overall point holds. Bouton: Yankees Stink


Well, in 2009 Damon was at 118. You've got to put the line somewhere, and 120 is a nice even number.
   6. AROM Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4236499)
I'm convinced. I'd vote Price if the season ended today. But it's close enough that things can change. Verlander and Felix are right there. And even Weaver, who had fallen off the Cy map, could get consideration if he's got 3-4 more games like Thursday, and he brings the Angels to a miraculous finish that allows them to play a wild card game.
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4236520)
this is a shell of "The Yankees" of recent years


Hell, it's a shell of the Yankees of earlier this year.

Interestingly, the four pitchers AROM mentions have started a total of 12 games against the Yankees and only eight against the Orioles. Given the "shell of the Yankees" state of the 2012 Yankees, this may have helped the pitchers more than it's helped the Orioles.
   8. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4236529)
Someone over at RAB posted this tweet: @SBethiaumeESPN Elias says CC Sabathia is first #Yankees pitcher to blow a lead in 5 straight starts since Kei Igawa in 2007.

   9. Charlie O Posted: September 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4236530)
How about that moment when King Felix wrapped up his perfect game? Or when King Felix pitched a complete game shutout for a 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium in August? Do those moments count, too? Or do we count the moments only for the player whose horn one is honking? Price is an excellent pitcher with a record that's perfectly CYA worthy. There's no need to pile on with nonsense like this.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4236540)
this is a shell of "The Yankees" of recent years

Hell, it's a shell of the Yankees of earlier this year.


I see what you're saying, but the truth is that this year's Yankees have really only been clicking on all cylinders for very brief periods at a time, the most notable being the stretch in June just before Pettitte went down. IMO that injury has hurt the Yanks more than any other, including Mo's, and including the several mini-DL stretches of A-Rod and Teixeira. At the time of his injury, Pettitte was the most effective starter in the rotation, and the fact that he's a lefthander gave them a R-L-R-L-R combination that was tough to match.

BTW if there's anything that demonstrates the utter irrelevance of that BB-Reference Simple Rating System, take a look at their current numbers: Yanks and Texas at 0.9, the Nats, Rays, Angels and A's at 0.7, and the Orioles tied with the ####### Red Sox at 0.1.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4236546)
I was really talking only about the lineup, Andy, but yeah, I agree that Pettitte's loss has been the biggest one. Who'da thunk it.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4236590)

Hell, it's a shell of the Yankees of earlier this year.


There is literally nothing the Yankees can do to convince Keith Law they aren't a great team.
   13. Joltin' Joe Orsulak Posted: September 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4236612)
Number of Yankees' starting position players, including DH, with an OPS+ of 120 or more:

2009: 7 (Posada, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Swisher, Matsui)
2010: 5 (Teixeira, Cano, Rodriguez, Swisher, Thames)
2011: 3 (Teixeira, Cano, Granderson)
2012: 1 (Cano)

Unless Pettitte miraculously retrieves his June form, Nova revisits 2011, and Sabathia does a 180, this team ain't going nowhere. As of now, the Orioles, Rays, and A's are all clearly better than they are.


FWIW, the Orioles only have two players with OPS+ over 120, and only one of them is healthy:

Jones (125)
Markakis (126)

As a fan I'd love to think they're better than the Yankees right now, but I actually think it's kind of a toss-up.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4236620)
I see what you're saying, but the truth is that this year's Yankees have really only been clicking on all cylinders for very brief periods at a time, the most notable being the stretch in June just before Pettitte went down. IMO that injury has hurt the Yanks more than any other, including Mo's, and including the several mini-DL stretches of A-Rod and Teixeira.

Brett Gardner was also a major loss - great defense, great baserunner, and a high on-base % at his best. If Jones & Ibanez had 90% of their ABs in a DH platoon, they might have done a bit better, too.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 15, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4236704)
Brett Gardner was also a major loss - great defense, great baserunner, and a high on-base % at his best. If Jones & Ibanez had 90% of their ABs in a DH platoon, they might have done a bit better, too.

I agree with all of the above, especially about Gardner's skill set, but before Pettitte got hurt the Yanks had been on fire without Gardner.

Mo's injury obviously hurt a lot, too, but the lack of a consistent rotation has put a lot more pressure on the bullpen than there otherwise would have been. IMO Pettitte was the key domino, which is why it's so important that he quickly gets back to form. But that's a lot to ask of a pitcher who's only seven leap years younger than I am.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4236724)
Mo's injury obviously hurt a lot, too,

I actually don't think so. Soriano has been every bit as good as you could hope Rivera to be, and I don't think Soriano would have been very good as the 2nd setup man. I think the guy's a head-case.
   17. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4236734)
Soriano was just fine as the 7th inning guy after coming off the DL last year. Even if you believe that he's a head case who can only pitch at his best if he pitches the ninth inning, his less effective setup self still would have added depth to the bullpen had Rivera not been injured.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4236743)
Soriano was just fine as the 7th inning guy after coming off the DL last year. Even if you believe that he's a head case who can only pitch at his best if he pitches the ninth inning, his less effective setup self still would have added depth to the bullpen had Rivera not been injured.

Agreed. I'm just saying not having Rivera hasn't "hurt a lot". Certainly much less than losing Gardner, Pineda, or Pettitte.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 15, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4236755)
Steve Pearce will hit a bomb to win the division in the last game of the year, in the ultimate underdog story. After being deemed unworthy by four different teams since last November, all snooty establishment organizations (Pirates, Twins, Orioles, Astros), he leads this ragtag bunch of misfits to a height they could have never envisioned.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4236825)
How about that moment when King Felix wrapped up his perfect game? Or when King Felix pitched a complete game shutout for a 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium in August?

Come one now, you know these aren't the same. The Ms are playing for nothing so those are just examples of Felix finishing off outstanding games. Price just shut down a division rival to keep his team in the playoff hunt.

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