Vanderbilt pitcher David Price was dominating. He took a perfect game into the seventh, finished with a five-hitter, walked none and struck out 11 in the Commodores' 3-2 win over Mississippi State on Thursday in the SEC tournament.
I tracked his 114 pitches -- 79 were strikes. The official box score has Price with 80 strikes, so I missed one.
Of those 79 I had, 26 were called, 17 were fouls, 16 were swing and misses, and 20 balls were put in play. (That doesn't add up to 27 outs because there was a play at the plate after a single.)
First inning: 13 pitches-10 strikes
In the seventh, MSU's Jeffrey Rea led off with an opposite-field single to left on a 2-2 fastball and Joseph McCaskill followed with an opposite-field RBI double to right on another 2-2 fastball. After a strikeout that included a slider that the hitter missed by at least a foot, Mitch Moreland pulled a badly hung slider and hit it off the right-field wall. Brandon Turner hit a slider up the middle for a single that ended with an out at the plate.
In the ninth, Price went heavily to his fastball. His 110th pitch was 96 mph. He went 91-93-94 before an 85 mph slider produced a game-ending groundout.
Price said he threw exclusively fastballs and sliders. I'm horrible at recognizing pitches and some of the sliders looked to me like straight curves, pitches he described as his "loopier" slider.
Coach Tim Corbin said Price may have thrown "one or two" change-ups, but said those were times when he took something off his fastball. Price did throw a 90-mph fastball to start of the last hitter.
My chart had 56 fastballs, 39 sliders, 18 curves/"loopier" sliders and one pitch I flat missed. Sue me. =)
He overwhelmed McCaskill in the second. McCaskill hardly twitched while watching a fastball sail by for strike three. He threw some wicked sliders that right-handed hitters were missing by at least a foot. It snapped hard enough that it was bouncing in the dirt at the hitter's feet.
Calm and quiet guy, too.
Look for a story on Price next week that's not quite so full of numbers.