ST. PETERSBURG -- After Tuesday night's epic pitching duel, Luke Hochevar said he was primarily focused on making quality pitches, but make no mistake, he was well aware of what David Price was doing for the Rays.
"You know. If you didn't, you're dead," Hochevar said on Wednesday. "You know what's going on and you know who's throwing on the other side, but what I meant by that is you can't get caught up in it."
Hochevar's eight-inning performance gave him 17 shutout innings this season against the Rays; he pitched an 8-0 complete-game victory for the Royals on June 25 in Kansas City.
How good was he this time?
"He has a very good fastball. I thought he had very good command of it. It was really just taking off out of his hand," said the Rays' Carlos Pena. "We got a lot of swing-and-misses underneath the ball just because of how much rise effect he had on it. I thought he was locating it well, and also the offspeed pitches. That differential, that 94-mph fastball and he throws a 76-mph curveball. The difference is huge. For him to be throwing it for strikes makes it that much tougher for all of us to adjust. That was a great performance by him."
It didn't concern Hochevar that he didn't get credit for the victory.
"If the team doesn't click, you don't go anywhere. That's why we play the game, to experience something greater than ourselves and get to a playoff or something like that," Hochevar said. "If you get a W, you get a W, it doesn't matter who wins it. And, shoot, it was Kelvin Herrera's first win of his big league career."