PHOENIX, Ariz. — David Price bounced back from his shaky Spring Training debut, striking out seven of 10 batters in three no-hit innings of dominant and efficient work (45 pitches) in the 7-1 win over the Rockies Saturday night at Camelback Ranch. The Dodgers improved to 8-6 in Cactus League play.
Before the game, Orel Hershiser asked manager Dave Roberts his expectations of Price in his second start.
“David said he couldn’t feel his legs the other day in Goodyear,” Roberts said to the media. “I actually love the honesty. It just shows how much this means to him to be a Dodger, and even with that said he was just missing the other day.“
Price allowed two runs on three hits with two walks in 1 1/3 innings in his Spring Training debut in Blue.
“The plan is to get him through three innings,” Roberts said. “He’s working primarily out of the stretch. Solely out of the stretch. I think he’s going to pitch really well, and his stuff has been really good.“
The 34-year-old left-hander didn’t look nervous at all in his second Spring start, his performance reminding us why he’s been one of the most successful pitchers of the last decade.
Perhaps Price was a bit inspired by our brief chat about Jackie Robinson Day before he took the mound Saturday afternoon. I asked him what’s the transition been like going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers, and what it means to him to be a Dodger. He gave a very emotional response.
“It’s very special, like you said, all the history that the Dodgers have,” Price said. “I’m looking forward to Jackie Robinson Day. Even if I’m not pitching, I want to be around that ceremony. If I’m not pitching, I would love to catch the first pitch. I want to be in that photo. I got goose bumps right now just talking about it. To be a part of the franchise that helped get that rolling in the right way. That’s cool.“
Jackie Robinson Day is April 15.
I shifted the discussion to his health and how his Spring Training has gone so far. Cody was optimistic in his view of Price, and Price is clearly also optimistic about his move out West.
“Feeling good. Very good. Compared to other Spring Trainings, healthiest, I feel very far ahead that I’ve been in previous spring trainings,” Price said. “Definitely excited about that. Just being able to go out there, play catch and work on stuff. Throw good intensity in a bullpen. I’m excited.“
Price has been vocal about the difference between playing in Boston and Los Angeles.
“I’ve only been here a couple of weeks but I really couldn’t be happier,” he said.
With wrist surgery behind him, a new refreshing laid-back atmosphere to play in, pitching in a more pitcher-friendly home park, and the legacy of Jackie Robinson to be inspired by, Price looks to give us all goose bumps with the Dodgers in October.