New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, first baseman Mark Teixeira and right fielder Nick Swisher all agreed: the David Price they faced Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field was the best David Price they had ever seen.
"It's the best I've seen his curveball,'' Girardi said. "And when you add it with his other stuff, his fastball up to 98, his backdoor cutter, his changeup, he had no-hit stuff today. He really did.''
Tampa Bay Rays
Price was perfect for the first three innings and held the Yankees hitless until Robinson Cano led off the fifth with a single, but his only real mistake was a 2-1 fastball to Teixeira that landed in the left-field seats to tie the game at 1-1.
"He was throwing more off-speed stuff than usual and he was throwing it on the corners for strikes,'' Teixeira said. "My first two at-bats he didn’t give me one pitch to hit and yet he was in the zone, down, on the corners. That’s why he so good, because he’s got great stuff and when he locates he’s almost unhittable.''
"I'm not much of a guy to give credit to pitchers,'' Swisher said. "But he had some good (stuff).''
Only, being Swisher, he didn't say stuff.
And all agreed that Price's effectiveness only made the work of David Phelps that much more impressive.
"Phelpsie pitched great,'' Teixeira said. "He really deserves a lot of credit because he almost matched Price pitch for pitch the way he was throwing.''
Phelps came out with one out in the fifth, having allowed a single to Elliott Johnson and a sacrifice bunt by Desmond Jennings and nearing his pitch limit of 85. He allowed just one run and two hits, walked three and struck out a career-high eight.
"At times I struggled with my command a little bit,'' he said. "All in all, I'm frustrated with the three walks but I kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. I wanted to obviously get through the fifth inning and maybe more, but it just didn't happen today.''