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Entries in Texas Rangers (77)

Tuesday
Oct012013

Price Pounds Zone, Uses His D in Complete-Game Win

No American League starter has gone the distance more often than David Price in 2013, and his fourth complete game couldn't have been more clutch. Price vaulted the Rays into the playoffs last night, limiting the Rangers to seven hits in a 5-2 victory in Game 163 of the season. Now, Tampa will travel to Cleveland for another winner-talk all contest on Wednesday night.

Price has pitched with more finesse than power this season, posting his lowest strikeout rate (7.3 per nine innings pitched) since 2009 but also issuing walks at a career-low 1.3 per nine frames. His pound-the-zone approach was on display last night, as he threw 81 of his 118 pitches (68.6 percent) for strikes.

The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner barely missed any bats, inducing a whiff just four times out of 55 swings (7.3 percent) that Rangers hitters took. But he didn't have to, thanks to outstanding command that generated bushels of ground balls. Check out Price's pitch location versus Texas:

Price's pitch location vs. Rangers, 9/30/13

Tampa's lefty ace tossed 18 percent of his pitches to the horizontal middle of the plate last night, below the 24 percent MLB average for starting pitchers this season and Price's 22 percent average for the year. He also jammed the Rangers' righty-heavy lineup, throwing inside 36 percent of the time (31 percent MLB average for lefty starters, 26 percent overall for Price in 2013).

Locating his stuff in on the hands of Texas hitters, Price induced 14 ground balls last night. That's a winning strategy, considering Rays infielders convert grounders into outs at the second-best clip (76.3 percent of the time) among AL clubs.

Opponent average on ground balls among AL teams, 2013

Monday
Sep302013

For the Rangers, Price May Be Right

David Price did not face the Texas Rangers this season which is a good thing, because if history is any predictor of future success, if Price had faced Texas in the first 162, there is a chance that tonight's play-in playoff would not be taking place.

So before you you look at the David Price vs. Martin Perez and say that this is a Tampa slam-dunk, take a look at the numbers.

Price has struggled against the Rangers

I Year W L W-L% ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WHIP
2009 0 2 .000 9.45 3 3 13.1 12 14 14 2 10 11 1 1.650
2010 0 0 3.00 1 1 6.0 5 2 2 0 5 8 0 1.667
2011 0 1 .000 3.21 2 2 14.0 13 5 5 1 3 13 0 1.143
2012 1 1 .500 6.97 2 2 10.1 16 8 8 2 1 9 0 1.645
Career Total 1 4 .200 5.98 8 8 43.2 46 29 29 5 19 41 1 1.489
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2013.
In his eight career starts, Price has struggled
David Price vs. the Rangers
AVGSLUGOBPHRK/9BB/9XBH
David Price.274.429.34958.453.9216

Price vs.the 2008-12 Rangers

David Price vs the Rangers 2008-12
GABHHRXBHKBBP/PAMiss%ISOAVGSLUGOBP
Adrian Beltre723814603.7836.0%.261.348.609.348
Elvis Andrus817600354.3014.3%.000.353.353.522
Nelson Cruz612622123.9318.5%.500.5001.000.571
Ian Kinsler718313123.9010.8%.278.167.444.250
David Murphy510201514.0020.0%.100.200.300.250
Craig Gentry49201002.706.3%.111.222.333.222

Price vs current Rangers who weren't Rangers at the time

David Price vs Rangers who weren't Rangers 2008-12
GABHHRXBHKBBP/PAMiss%ISOAVGSLUGOBP
A.J. Pierzynski410200102.9213.0%.000.200.200.273
Alex Rios9231025533.6514.3%.435.435.870.500
Geovany Soto12100103.000.0%.000.500.500.500
Adam Rosales25100205.0016.7%.000.200.200.200

Breaking it down

Breaking Down David Price vs Rangers 2008-12
GABHHRXBHKBBP/PAMiss%ISOAVGSLUGOBP
Vs. Rangers Lefties8358011114.1619.2%.029.229.257.243
Vs. Rangers Righties81333851530184.0821.8%.188.286.474.375
Vs. Rangers in Texas47025491684.1616.0%.243.357.600.425
Vs. Rangers Lefties in Texas414400604.5318.4%.000.286.286.267
Vs. Rangers Righties in Texas45621491084.0715.3%.304.375.679.462

The Rangers vs. Price's fastball in Arlington

Righties feast:
  • Righties have hit .455/.586/.864 against David Price's fastball in Arlington.
  • Lefties have hit .286/.267/.286 against David Price's fastball in Arlington. Price has thrown 68 pitches against Rangers lefties in Texas, 66 have been fastballs.

Tonight it may come down to righties vs. Price's hard stuff

Price vs Righties in Texas 2008-12
PABHHRXBHKMiss%Chas%ClStk%P/PAAVGSLUGISO
Fastball14322102539.4%17.6%33.3%3.90.455.864.409
Slider31531208.3%22.2%26.3%3.00.6001.400.800
Change4111411230.4%40.0%33.3%5.00.364.636.273
Curve115100142.9%60.0%50.0%4.20.200.200.000
Cutter3910101410.5%23.1%55.0%4.42.100.200.100
Hard18232112679.7%18.5%37.3%4.05.344.656.313
Soft8321823326.2%34.9%31.7%4.36.381.714.333

There are no slam dunks in baseball.
Friday
Aug232013

Martin Perez's Changeup a Plus Pitch

Martin Perez has stepped forward as a crucial part of the Texas Rangers' starting rotation, providing quality outings with Matt Harrison (back surgery) out for the season. The 22-year-old lefty has done a pretty convincing Harrison impression thus far, making up for a modest strikeout rate (6.2 per nine innings) with few walks (2.6 BB/9) and plenty of ground balls (49 percent of pitches put in play). Perez's park-and-league adjusted ERA is 22 percent above average this season (122 ERA+), besting all American League rookie starters throwing at least 75 frames, save for Tampa Bay's Chris Archer.

Perez is thriving thanks to his changeup, which he has tossed 24 percent of the time. Opponents are slugging a paltry .287 when he pulls the string, putting Perez's change just outside the top 10 among starters and ahead of changeup aficionados like Matt Cain (.291), David Price (.313) and James Shields (.315).

What makes Perez's changeup so nasty? Here's more on Perez's plus pitch as he prepares to take on Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox.

  • Perez buries his changeup at hitters' knees, locating nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of them down in the strike zone. The MLB average, for comparison's sake, is about 56 percent. Keeping his changeup low, Perez has induced a ground ball 60 percent of the time that hitters put the ball in play (51 percent MLB average).

Perez's changeup location

  • He's getting hitters to chase his changeup off the plate about 42 percent of the time, compared to the 36 percent MLB average. Batters are a combined 3-for-26 (.115) when they chase Perez's change out of the strike zone.
  • The lefty uses his changeup in any situation, throwing the pitch with nearly the same frequency whether he's behind the hitter (22 percent), even (23 percent) or ahead in the count as (27 percent).
  • Perez's changeup is unusually hard, with an average velocity (84.7 MPH) well above the league average for lefties (81.9 MPH). The only southpaws who throw a speedier changeup are Francisco Liriano (86.3 MPH average), Jon Lester and Jose Quintana (85.3 MPH).