Game 163 is in the books. We experienced two different types of pitching performance in the play-in-game to get to the play-in-game. Martin Perez and David Price both feature similar repertoires; they both work fastball-changeup and occasionally mix in a breaking ball to keep hitters honest. Awhile back I did a miniseries of sorts on visualizing pitch sequencing in a manner that seemed more intuitive to me.
I've extended that project out a bit to give a clearer visual of what a pitcher tried to establish in each individual start. The result is this:
Hopefully that simplifies what David Price and Martin Perez tried to do last night. Perez did a fairly good job of establishing the fastball early in the game and trying to work backwards a bit in the later innings. Price was pretty much all about working off the fastball in a more traditional sense. There's probably a good reason for that.
Perez had the better stuff yet Price was the one who went the distance giving up only 2 ER on 7 hits. Perez generated 9 swings and misses against 21 batters while Price only generated 4 against 33 batters. Both pitchers got their whiffs on the changeup predominantly (7 for Perez, 3 for Price) but Perez got burned for 3 ER over 5.1 innings.
This may seem obvious to a few of you but I think this is further proof that David Price is learning how to pitch. His stuff was not very sharp all night yet he found away to keep a very good Rangers lineup off balance enough to induce weak contact even if he didn't get swings and misses.
Innings pitched is a very underrated pitching statistic and Price gave the Rangers 9 in a big spot. Back to back elimination games tend to do funky things to a bullpen. Any time a starter can take control of the game like Price did and give the 'pen a rest is big.