The Tampa Bay Rays (45-35) send their hottest pitcher, James Shields, to steal a series win from the Cincinnati Reds (41-40). Complete Game James (8-4, 2.29 ERA, 3.10 FIP) leads the league with six 9-inning showings -- to got with his three complete game shutouts. He enters today's game coming off three straight complete games, striking out 24 and walking only 4 in that span. His latest pitching efforts have landed him in Cy Young discussion.
Opposing Shields, the Reds send 27-year-old Edison Volquez (4-3, 5-77 ERA, 5.02 FIP), who is no where near 2011 top pitcher honors. In Volquez' last start, he could not make it through the 5th inning, allowing 4 runs on 5 walks and 7 hits, 1 of which was a home run. Home runs have plagued Volquez this year, having allowed 11 already. In the past though, Volquez never displayed a particular propensity to give up extra home runs, so hopefully the Rays can take him deep a few more times before his statistics normalize.
Today's starters' stats:
|2011 - James Shields||8-4||16||16||6||3||0||0||121.2||89||34||31||12||28||117||2.29||.96|
|2011 - Edinson Volquez||4-3||15||14||0||0||0||0||73.1||73||49||47||11||50||75||5.77||1.68|