James Shields Dominates Marlins As Rays Win 4-0

I know we said earlier this season that Shields pitched the best game of his career, but we need to revise that already: yesterday’s game was the best start of his career. It was better than his earlier start when he struck out 12 batters, and it was more impressive than any his other complete games this season. Shields pitched like an ace yesterday, and I couldn’t be more happy.

Here’s his final line: 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 13 K. Shields has never struck out that many batters before in one game, and his 23 swinging strikes (18%) were also a career high. It was also his highest Game Score of his career (take that for what it’s worth), and the highest Game Score by any pitcher so far this season. I try not to put undo stress on Game Score as a stat, but it at least shows that Shields’ start has a legitimate case to be named the best start of the season in the majors so far.

As I didn’t see the game I can’t speak to Shields’ pitch sequencing or pitch movement, but from looking at his game plots, he was locating his pitches exceptionally well and getting lots of swinging strikes on changeups low in the zone. Pitch location has always been Shields’ downfall, so if he can keep locating his pitches like this, he’ll go far this season.

Big Game James is back with a vengeance this year. He’s gone at least seven innings in every start this season except one (his second of the season) and this was his third complete game and second shutout of the year, matching his career highs in both categories.

Game Notes:

- Casey Kotchman had a great offensive day and helped lead the Rays by going 2-3 with a triple and a walk. And from all reports, he also looked really good at the plate: he hit hard line drives and had an impressive showing.

- Outside of Kotch, the only other player to get two hits was Longoria, who went 2-4 with a walk and a double. It’ll take more than one day to convince me that he’s broken out of his slump, but hey, it’s certainly something at least.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.