We’re only through three innings in the first game of this doubleheader between the Red Sox and Rays, but James Shields is a mixed bag at the moment. He’s mixing his pitches and throwing his entire repetoire - two- and four-seam fastballs, slider, curveball, and changeup — but his location is a little off at times. He’s missed over the plate with a couple fastballs, and every now and then he’s missing high with his changeup.
Just look at those green (fastball) and yellow (changeup) dots in the middle of the zone. That’s not a great sign:
Shields made it through two scoreless innings, allowing a couple deep flyball outs, but then he hit a rough patch in the third inning. He allowed singles to Josh Reddick and Mike Aviles, and then he left a changeup high in the middle of the zone to Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury promptly deposited the pitch into the right-field seats for a three-run homer.
That was Ellsbury’s 21st home run of the season. The most home runs Ellsbury had ever hit coming into this season was 9, back in 2008.