While David Price fell to 2-3 as a starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, who currently sit on the outside looking in on the American League playoffs, Drew Smyly threw another gem. The Rays rode Smyly's great outing to a 3-2 win at the Trop.
Some thought the Rays were short-changed when they shipped off their prized former Cy Young Award winner, David Price, to the Tigers for Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin (from Seattle). Realistically, those people probably still don't realize the value the Rays received in return for Price. But they probably should.
Price v Smyly
Smyly threw another quality start on Saturday, going six innings and allowing just four hits and a run to one of baseball's elite offenses. The 25-year-old struck out eight. He now has 44 strikeouts in his seven starts as Ray. Smyly has a better record in his new home than Price does in his and his overall numbers are comparable to Price's.
While Price does have the clear advantage in FIP, Smyly's WHIP is just a tenth of a baserunner per inning higher than Price's. After Saturday, Smyly's ERA is just 3.24 versus 3.33 for Price. Price entered the day with a better ERA than Smyly.
But then there's the money. And money is always a large object when you call Tropicana Field your home. Smyly putting up numbers reasonably close to Price gets even sweeter when you consider he pitches for just over $500,000 this season. Put that next to Price's $14 million paycheck this year. Of course, the Rays paid Price for much of this season and the Tigers paid Smyly for most of his. But the price discrepancy persists beyond this season. Smyly's team-friendly contract runs through 2019, while Price will make enough to live many life times in 2015 alone. Maybe that's enough to get some fans to look beyond the Cy Young count.
Smyly on song
The only run Smyly surrendered on Saturday was a solo shot to Chris Davis in the second inning. "Crush" Davis' 26th of the season gave the O's a 1-0 lead before Evan Longoria and Wil Myers each drove in a run in the third. Smyly lost his chance to get a win when Nelson Cruz singled home the tying run in the eighth, but it just set the stage for some drama at the Trop.
The Rays walked off in unconventional fashion when Nick Hundley let a passed ball get by him with a man on third. Yunel Escobar came home to win it in the ninth to bring Tampa Bay to within five games of .500. The win doesn't do much to shake up the playoff situation in the East, but it did give Tampa fans another chance to see their young Smyly at work. And it sure should have them excited for the future.