As the number four starter, young David Price is opening some eyes here in the early going of the 2010 season.
With the most wins in the AL (3), 4th in strike outs (26), and 5th in innings pitched, (28.2) to go along with a solid 2.20 ERA, Price has started to become the dominant pitcher the Rays hoped they were getting when they drafted him first overall in 2007.
In last night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Price was good—scary good. Mowing down 9 Jays while scattering four hits and allowing just a single walk, he gave Toronto no chance to beat Tampa Bay.
That's what you expect out of Roy Halladay, not the number four starter in your line up.
"He probably pitched the best against us [this season]," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston told the Associated Press. "He threw strikes. He kept the guys off balance. He just had good stuff."
Price earned his first career shutout and complete game, while turning in his third quality start in four tries.
His only hiccup was a five inning stint in Chicago where he gave up three runs, six hits, and walked three.
"Now I know what it takes," Price told the Associated Press. "I've been there and I've done that now. I've got that first little taste in my mouth. Now I want more. On this staff, five or six innings isn't enough. We want to go seven, eight or nine, and that's what these guys have been doing all year."
The Rays pitching staff has the best winning percentage in the majors and is tied for the most victories. Their 2.81 ERA is 4th best in the Majors and their 100 strike outs is second in the American League.
Price is tied with Matt Garza for the team lead in victories and leads the team in strikeouts. He only trails Garza in ERA among starting pitchers.
If Price can continue to give Tampa Bay solid performances, the Rays' ownership of the best record in baseball could continue for quite a while.