DETROIT — When the Tigers acquired LHP David Price from the Rays at this year's trade deadline, they appeared to have assembled a powerful starting rotation that could carry them deep into the postseason.
Now, Price will take the mound for the first time in these playoffs — and Detroit is already facing elimination.
"This is the time you want to be able to step up for your team, for your fan base, for the city of Detroit," Price said Saturday. "This is a special moment, to be able to go out there and throw my game, and that's what I plan on doing."
The Tigers dropped the first two games of this AL Division Series in Baltimore, unable to overcome a shaky bullpen that has been a problem all year. Price shut down the Twins on the final day of the regular season to lift Detroit to a fourth straight AL Central title, but the stakes will be higher today against the Orioles in Game 3 of the best-of-five series.
Baltimore counters with RHP Bud Norris, who had a 2.08 ERA in September.
"I've pitched in some big games in my career. This obviously might be the biggest," Norris said. "But as far as I'm concerned, it's another 60 feet, 6 inches."
ODD FIRST PITCH: An Army veteran wounded in Iraq made a unique ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the NLDS at Nationals Park, crawling toward the mound, then lobbing the baseball as if it were a grenade. Brian Keaton walked onto the grass before getting on his stomach and crawling several feet. He threw the ball with his left hand from behind the mound and the toss bounced home.
DAVIS DOUBTFUL: If the Orioles win today or Monday to clinch the ALDS, suspended slugger Chris Davis almost certainly would not be included on the club's AL Championship Series 25-man roster, the Baltimore Sun reported. Davis will serve the 20th of his 25-game suspension today.
FATHERHOOD PENDING: Nationals manager Matt Williams said "there is a chance" shortstop Ian Desmond will miss a postseason game when his wife gives birth to the couple's third son. Desmond said the baby's due date is a week away.
STAT OF THE DAY: Before the Royals, five teams had won three extra-inning games during the postseason. All five — the 1986 Mets, 1991 Twins, 1996 Yankees, 2003 Marlins and 2004 Red Sox — won the World Series.