Price hits franchise record in Blue Jays debut

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Final. 1. 2. 5. 39

Was it Russell Martin Bobblehead day, the beautiful weather, or a crucial match that brought 50,000 some odd fans out to the Rogers Centre on a holiday Monday to watch a surging home team chasing the Minnesota Twins in the American League Wild Card race?

These were all secondary to what the people really came for and eventually got – to see newly acquired David Price put on a show.

He did just that as he tied a franchise record with 11 strikeouts – the most by a Toronto Blue Jays pitcher in his first game. He retired 15 straight batters while leading the Blue Jays to a 5-1 over the Twins.

First day, franchise record. No big deal. 

He wasted no time notching his first strikeout as a Blue Jay working Brian Dozier with five pitches. He also got his first home run surrendered in the second inning when a two-seamer stayed up and in the middle for Torii Hunter’s 17th homer of the season.

A pair of solo home runs marked the second inning for both teams, in what was largely a 1-1 game until it became evident that Price was not going to give up much else.

Anything else. He lasted until the 8th inning, finishing the game with 11 strikeouts, three hits, one run, and two walks off 119 pitches.

It was nothing short of poetic that Price would take to the mound for the first time as a Blue Jay in these circumstances. Nothing short of poetic justice for the fans that took in a fantastic outing, all the while mocking the ace they thought they’d have in Ervin Santana before he last-minute signed with the Atlanta Braves.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto worked the former apple of their eye (who was coming into his 6th start of the season since being activated July 5th after serving his 80-game suspension for PED use) for 8 hits in 108 pitches over six innings.

Ryan Goins made it a tie game with a solo home run in the second, and Santana would get dinged again in the loss with a two-run blast off Josh Donaldson’s bat in the fifth. He managed two strikeouts before being replaced by Blaine Boyer.

Back to Price. Marking his dazzling debut was a stellar defensive play that allowed him to do so. With the bases loaded in the 4th, Troy Tulowitzki made the over-the-shoulder catch on an Eddie Rosario pop up and perfect throw that prevented any further damage, building confidence of the ace at the plate in his team’s ability. Price proceeded to strike out Aaron Hicks. Oh, and then Kurt Suzuki. End of inning, drops mic.

The offence did its job in giving their newest ace some more run support. Edwin Encarnacion cashed in Tulo, who was in turn cashed in by Justin Smoak to make it a 5-1 final.

The odds of the Blue Jays winning the World Series went from 25/1 to 16/1 after acquiring Price. Could someone please calculate the odds of his first game coming against Santana?!

Next: David Price is ready to lead the Blue Jays to the Playoffs

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