When you talk about the most dominant pitchers in the last decade, it’s hard not to mention David Price.
Though he has dealt with injuries in the last few years, he still has had success on the mound. Our MLB bro has accomplished a lot throughout his 14-year career. Before the 2021 season, Price’s last appearance on the mound came in 2019 as he opted to not play during the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.
He was still awarded a championship ring by the Dodgers for his veteran leadership and his likeability in the locker room.
He made his first appearance coming out of the bullpen on April 2nd against the Colorado Rockies. Price threw 1.2 giving up two runs on five hits.
The 35-year-old made his first start on May 20th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a solid outing that game going two innings and not allowing a run.
Don’t let the age fool you, Price can still pitch. Throughout his career, Price has been a pitcher opposing teams have had difficulties with.
Let’s throw out some of his accolades:
World Series Champion
AL Cy Young Award
AL Comeback Player of the Year
AL wins leader
Two-time AL ERA leader
MLB strikeout leader
Golden Spikes Award
Dick Howser Trophy
That is an impressive resume right there and shows why Price has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
This season, Price has steadily worked his way back into the rotation for the LA Dodgers. Through 11 games, he is 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA and 19 strikeouts. He recently reached a significant milestone registering his 2,000th strikeout which came on May 27th against the San Francisco Giants.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of pitches thrown,” Price said in an article from the Los Angeles Sentinel. “Whenever I see a milestone like that, its longevity in this game. To be able to have that at the highest level of baseball, it’s special to me.”
Price started that game and went 2.2 innings, finishing with five strikeouts as the Dodgers picked up the 4-3 victory.
He’s currently in the top 100 for most strikeouts in MLB history.
You can see that Price is getting more comfortable on the mound as he’s making more appearances out there.
He made his third start of the season on June 1st against the St. Louis Cardinals. He only lasted 1.2 innings but surrendered just two runs before Joe Kelly came in to relieve him. The Dodgers know Price has been a workhorse throughout his career, so they will pick their spots as to where he can be most effective for them.
Here’s something to note, Price is the last Black pitcher to win 20 games in a season.
That’s right, he did it in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays, the first MLB team he played for. He finished that season with a 20-5 record and won the AL Cy Young Award. Before Price, CC Sabathia was the last Black pitcher to win 20 games in a season, doing it in 2010 with the New York Yankees (20-7).
Only three Black pitchers have won 20 games since 2005 and Dontrelle Willis is the third one when he went 22-10 in 2005 with the Florida Marlins. Price is a winner and he’s done a lot of that throughout his career. And he still has something left in the tank.
It would be foolish to leave out Price’s name when you talk about the best Black pitchers to ever pitch in the MLB. Numbers don’t lie and when his career is over, he will still be mentioned amongst the best to step on the mound.
When he went down, the second-year second baseman was batting .290 with four home runs and seven stolen bases. Chisholm recorded hits in 14 of the 21 games he played before heading to the injured list with a left hamstring strain.
While he was gone, the Marlins went 7-9, including losses in six of their last eight games entering their matchup with the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. In those eight games, Miami scored a total of 22 runs, and six of those came in a 9-6 loss on Friday.
But Jazz joined his teammates on Saturday and hit the field on Sunday, and immediately made a difference.
Playing shortstop in his first game back, Jazz went 2-for-5, while scoring a run and stealing a base in a 3-2 win that allowed Miami to salvage one win in the three-game series and stay three games back of the New York Mets in the division standings. The rookie is a difference-maker and his absence proved it.
He was inches away from collecting his third hit of the game in the ninth inning. It took just about everything Gavin Lux had to throw him out after Jazz sent a two-out grounder back up the middle. That play brought out the best in Lux and Chisolm. That’s what baseball is about.
Jazz putting in work in his first game back shouldn’t be a surprise. He mauled Triple-A pitching during his rehab stint with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He slashed .444/.500/.899, with a home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored in nine at-bats.
Some players just have “it.”
You can’t describe “it.” You can’t develop “it.” You can’t fake “it.”
Jazz Chisholm has “it.”
One of the things that every manager wants to see out of a young player is the ability to learn and adjust.
Chisholm was showing that in the last 15 games before his injury. He hit .327 over that stretch, including mashing all four of his home runs, six of his seven RBIs, and four doubles. His OPS was a ridiculous 1.012, and he was slugging better than .600.
Most importantly, the Marlins produced an 8-7 record in those games.
If you’re nitpicking, then yes, Jazz still strikes out too much and walks too little. Just imagine what damage he could do just by raising his on-base percentage to .420.
But remember, he’s only played in 125 games. He hasn’t truly discovered the rhythms of the major league baseball season. Once he gets that experience, it’s not much of a stretch to think that pitchers across baseball will be adjusting the Jazz Chisholm more than he’ll be adjusting to them.
Mookie Betts hasn’t been his usual dominant baseball self so far this season. Mookie is batting just .250 and he missed a couple of reps after getting beaned on the forearm with some hot cheese a week ago.
Betts has been one of the most productive players in the game over the past five seasons, so the concern is minimal. He hits for average, power, steals bases (last 30-30 players in MLB) and his glove is space-ship special.
If there was any real cause for alarm…meaning if we had to nitpick, the only alarming statistic (other than a batting average that sits 50 points below his career clip) was Betts’ paltry three RBI in 80 official plate appearances coming into Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
We know he’s the party starter in the Dodgers’ lineup and to keep 100, the entire lineup had been slumping during a recent 1-5 stretch, despite the franchise’s impressive collection of offensive powerhouses.
Good thing they play everyday in baseball because an 8-0 win behind seven strong innings from Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday cured those “batter blues” real quick.
It was inevitable that the 2018 AL MVP would get it going sooner than later. Betts’ leadoff double on Tuesday was an Omen of things to come.
Then, on Wednesday, Betts lined a pitch to centerfield for his second hit of the game, driving in two runs and putting the finishing touches on a win that broke a three-game skid. It was the distinguished Black Knight’s first multiple-RBI game of the young season.
Expect many more to follow.
Matt Beaty and Mookie Betts both single for four more runs. Shouts to Sal Romano for giving up as many hits to the Dodgers in an inning as they have had the last 10 games, probably. pic.twitter.com/Bv5lgQXcMr
A player as multifaceted as Mookie is always impactful. Even if he isn’t wielding a hot stick, Betts does so many other things. Smells like Mookie is cooking up one of his infamous hit streaks, where he doesn’t strike out in like 40 or 50 at-bats.
You can’t keep a good brother down for long, especially if his name is Markus Lynn Betts.
In the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss on Monday, Betts was facing Rafael Montero who was clearly looking to pitch him inside and broke him off with a 95 mph fastball that rode inside, nailing the MVP and two-time champion on the inside of his right forearm. The only good news for Dodger fans at that moment was that Betts ate it like a Lunchable and went to first base representing the tying run.
However, it was clear from the outside that the injury was going to affect Betts for some time at least. He struggled to get his protective base running glove over the area on his forearm that was hit. It became clear that this was not a rub-some-dirt-on-it type injury because there was no faking the pain on the grill of one of the game’s great poker faces. As fate would have it, Betts was retired when Seager grounded out into a game-ending double play that killed the rally.
Betts was not in Tuesday’s starting lineup for LA’s series finale with the Mariners (a 1-0 win) and they are off until Thursday. It’s still not clear whether or not the 2018 AL MVP will miss significant time.
Betts is the irreversible force in L.A.’s lineup and they are already missing his presence after mustering just one run on Tuesday. The Dodgers are loaded, but any extended absence by Betts definitely weakens them on offense and defense.
Entering the season, San Diego was a popular pick to dethrone Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers and advance to the franchise’s first World Series since 1998. The main reason being, the nucleus of young stars led of course by Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado. However, for a squad to dethrone a team as loaded and multi-faceted as the Dodgers, the right blend of experience and young talent is needed.
That need for veteran leadership to balance out the enthusiastic rebellion of the new school is why outfielder Tommy Pham, in his 8th MLB season, is on the team. While his professionalism is duly noted, the outfielder was hitting .128 entering Sunday night’s series finale against the Dodgers.
I’m going to say what everyone was thinking: “You’re not carrying your weight, Pham.”
At least those were the grumbles behind the scenes and in the Black Knight barbershops. Pham’s ears must have been tingling because his lackluster bat woke up at the right time for the San Diego Padres, who were trying to avoid a sweep in a tone-setting, early-season series against the LA Dodgers, in a game that meant a lot more to the upstart Padres (10-7) than the seasoned World Champions who are 13-3 and rolling through the league.
The Dodgers took the first two games of the series thanks to some clutch hitting (scored 5 runs in the 12rh to win Game 1) and otherworldly defense (Mookie Netts’ shoestring diving catch to end game, which had a 10 percent probability rate.)
In Game 3, Tommy Pham finally made an appearance for the San Diego Padres, getting a clutch hit that led to 5 unanswered runs to rally from a 2-0 deficit and win a game that is a tremendous confidence booster for a squad who believes that they have the onions to go head up with the Dodgers.
It was a huge hit for a career .270 hitter who has been battling the Mendoza line since COVID hit in 2020. Pham’s never been as productive as his 2017 season when he made a huge splash by going 20-20, hit .306 2ith a .931 OPS.
Pham had 23 homers and 25 steals and finished 11th in the MVP voting for St. Louis. The Cardinals missed the playoffs that year for the second consecutive season and by the end of 2018, Pham was tearing it up for Tampa Bay, batting .343 after coming over from Da Lou.
Pham has explosive power, speed and experience in high profile games. The numbers are ugly right now, no doubt. But the Padres organization knows the caliber of player they have and if Pham gets on a hot streak, he’s one more weapon that will come in handy against the Dodgers.
A secret weapon almost, with guys like Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Trent Grisham getting all the press.
Pham is the kind of competitor whose game elevated in the playoffs, In fact, he became a considerably better player when the pressure is the highest. Pham has a .375 career playoff batting averages, with three home runs and 19 hits in 54 at-bats — a couple of them huge ones. He’s played in two ALDS and two WILD Card games in each league.
His first post season at-bat back in 2015, resulted in a homer, showing early on that he rises like yeast in October.
The Padres have to get through the Dodgers in the regular season and the playoffs to ascend to the MLB mountaintop. So, yeah they’re going to need Pham to be on point, but I wouldn’t panic because come playoff time, if the Padres do shock the world I can almost guarantee Pham will be in the middle of it. Someway, somehow. That’s just how he gets down.