It’s going to take David Price a long time to forget about the third inning in the game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, pitching for the losing side (8-4) and giving up nine consecutive hits, leading up to eight straight runs, which isn’t just a low point for his career but is a rare occurrence for any pitcher at all.
We’ve already mentioned a time or two that smelling the playoffs has awoken something in the Yankees’ bats, but this performance was something special. Price was already pitching himself into jams during the first two innings but managed to get out of them. If those moments were signs that this wasn’t going to be his day, he and his manager didn’t do a good enough job of reading them, and everything fell apart.
It was the first time in his career that he allowed more than five hits or six runs in one inning. Price giving up nine hits in the third is tied for the most hits given by any pitcher this season, which happens to be Brandon McCarthy, who pitched a day earlier for the Yankees in the 5-2 loss. It was also just the second time in Price’s career for him to not last through the third inning. The other time was in 2009, lasting just 1.1 innings against the Rangers.
On the Yankees’ side of the record books, they were three hits shy from the record of 12 hits in one inning, something that last happened in 1930. They were one hit shy of the AL record, last done by the Royals in 2004. It also pulled them within 2.5 games of the Mariners for the Wild Card position, which is now the distance between the Tigers and the Royals for the lead in the AL Central.
Everything started in the third with Jacoby Ellsbury, quite hot (two home runs in the previous game), hitting a single. Next up was Derek Jeter, getting an RBI-double, followed by Mark Teixeira with an RBI double of his own. The torment continued as Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli all hit RBI singles. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a sacrifice fly that scored Chase Headley and Jeter finished the incredible inning with a sacrifice fly of his own, as the Yankees finished with 14 hits and 8-for-14 with runners in scoring positions.
Shane Greene? He actually pulled off a pretty solid start with seven innings, giving up just two runs and striking out eight batters. The 25 year-old rookie is now 4-1 in nine starts this season with a 3.09 ERA. The Yankees have been making all sorts of changes to try and get over their injuries and decline of rotations pitchers. Now that their hitters are finally connecting with their bats, it doesn’t seem like pitching was ever too big of a problem.