To say the least, the Orioles have a tough task today in facing Tampa Bay's David Price, who is 14-4 with an ERA of 2.64 and batting average against of .229 in 21 starts.
Price is tied for the AL lead in wins, is fifth in ERA and sixth in strikeouts. He has pitched seven innings or more 15 times to rank second in the AL to Felix Hernandez.
In two starts in 2012 against the Orioles before this one, he was 2-0 with an ERA of 0.63, giving up one run and 11 hits over 14 1/3 innings with two walks to 15 strikeouts.
Price is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 career starts against Baltimore.
He has recorded eight consecutive quality starts, has won his last six decisions and is 7-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 10 home starts this season. I could go on, but you get the point by now.
Over the first three innings today, Price did throw 49 pitches as the Orioles worked into some deep counts against him. Lew Ford had a double and Robert Andino a single for the Orioles' two hits so far.
Price did throw almost all fastballs over the first three innings. Makes you wonder that if he keeps doing that, someone will eventually catch up to one and do some damage. Also, with a smart pitcher like Price, he can always begin to work in his secondary pitches more the second and third times through the order just when the O's start looking solely for the fastball.
He's a good one and the Orioles have to beat him today to win this big series against the Rays.