In first Tigers' Opening Day start, Price nearly flawless
David Price heard secondhand about Opening Day being a holiday in Michigan during Spring Training. His first-hand experience came on his drive downtown.
"Just the excitement around the ballpark, it's a great feeling on Opening Day," he said. "It's a holiday here in Detroit. You definitely get that sense out there on the field.
"I got it this morning driving to the park. It's 9 o'clock in the morning, I'm sitting in traffic coming to the field. That's really cool."
Come game time, Price made sure he had very little traffic to handle on the basepaths. His mastery of the Twins nearly made the holiday into an event, falling one out shy of the Tigers' first shutout since Mickey Lolich in 1970.
Price retired the first 13 batters he faced, briefly kindling hopes of a no-hit bid in an eventual 4-0 victory. That's becoming a pattern; he had retired his first nine batters in his Spring Training finale, and his first 10 batters in the start before that.
In both outings, Price was hit around his second trip through the order. They were Spring Training games, but it was enough of a concern that Price and pitching Jeff Jones went to work on identifying why.
"I thought he was trying to be a little too quick out of the stretch," Jones said. "What we tried to do was get him to where he was the same out of the stretch as he is out of the windup."
That wouldn't necessarily make him unhittable, but it would keep the first hit from setting up a flurry of hits.