Saturday, 8 March 2008

David Price... I'm impressed!

Obviously its an exciting day for me today, what with it being the first Rays game of the season on But for once, I think that everybody should be excitied to have a chance to watch the Rays, and the reason for that is a 6'6 lefty named David Price.
Ok, so if somehow you haven't heard of him, he was the number one overall pick in the 2007 draft, and today made his spring-training debut for the Rays.

And wow.

Its kind of hard to know what to expect from someone getting their first chance against major-league hitters. Actually, I think it was his first time against professional hitters at any level. But if that was a preview of things to come, then you can crank my excitement level over the Rays up to 11.

Price came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th, and after some pretty impressive pitches, hit the first batter he faced. But he didn't seem to let it bother him. He came right back inside to the next batter, and struck him out. Next up was Jason Lane, and he had absolutely no chance, as Price struck him out on fastballs of 99, 97 and 98 mph. Then to round things off, he struck out the next hitter on a wicked foul-tipped changeup.

Small sample size I know, but 1 IP, 0 hits, 3 Ks, and I cannot wait to see him pitch in the Majors. With Jeff Niemann pitching 3 no-hit innings yesterday, Edwin Jackson starting well, and with Kaz, Shields and Garza on top of the rotation, and suddenly the future of the Rays' pitching is looking decidedly sunny.

After 7 1/2 against the Yanks right now its 2-1 to the Rays, courtesy of a wind-assisted homer from Jonny Gomes (which of course pleases me immensely!), and a nicely manufactured run that scored on a Willy Aybar sac-fly. Scoring was Evan Longoria, and it was good to see him in action as well. All in all, even if the Yanks can turn the score around in the last couple of innings, I think its fair to say I'm happy with my first look at the '08 Rays.

Oh yeah, and please please please, remember the name David Price.

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