Thursday, October 23, 2008

Price could be the difference

Now we know why the Rays didn’t bring David Price up earlier. Why tip your hand?

The Red Sox didn’t know what they were dealing with when Price closed out Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

The Phillies didn’t look any more clued in Thursday when Price got the final seven outs of the Rays 4-2 victory in game 2 of the World Series, a win that evened the Series at 1-1.

The hard-throwing left-hander joined the Rays in mid-September and was used sparingly during the final weeks of the season. Rays manager Joe Maddon didn’t really use him at all in the American League playoffs until the eighth inning of Game 7 against the Red Sox.

It’s tough to formulate a scouting report on a pitcher you seldom see, though with Price, you’re going to see a high-90s fastball and a well-located slider.

Still, baseball people are only really comfortable when they think they know what’s coming.

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both batted twice against Price on Thursday, so that might prove large in the next few games.

Yet, neither seemed to have a clue against Price.

The element of surprise, the ability to work more than one inning, the ability to dominate a pretty good lineup could be the difference in this World Series.

The Rays wouldn’t have had that advantage had they brought Price up in August or used him more in September.

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