Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

James Shields hopes to post another solid outing for Tampa Bay Rays

James Shields, center, bumping chests with teammates after his three-hitter at Oakland, says he felt he had his best fastball location in a while.

Associated Press

James Shields, center, bumping chests with teammates after his three-hitter at Oakland, says he felt he had his best fastball location in a while.

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP James Shields enters tonight's start against the Blue Jays with the tough task of topping his last outing, a three-hit shutout against the A's.

But Shields has experience providing encores, including three consecutive complete games in June 2011 during his All-Star season.

"I've done it before, so I'm just going to go out there and try to get a quality start, and just try to get a win," he said. "Right now it's all about winning, go out there and just fight and give us a chance to win. This is kind of crunch time right now these last couple months, and we're right in the thick of things, which is right where we want to be, so we're just trying to get a win."

Shields said what he liked most about his last start — when he struck out 11 and walked none while throwing 98 pitches — was his direction toward the plate in his delivery. It resulted in what he called his best fastball location in a while.

"I was really in control of my body throughout the entire game," Shields said. "I had a really good angle on my fastball, which I was very pleased with, and in this case a little more movement north and south. Hopefully I can go out and repeat that and have a good last couple of months here."

The Jays lineup will have a much different look from the one that Shields faced in mid May, with slugging OF Jose Bautista and C J.P. Arencibia among the many players lost to injury. Toronto still ranks third in the AL in runs (522).

"I don't think there's an advantage, but they're probably a little more free-swinging I'd imagine," Shields said. "Losing Bautista definitely kind of puts a damper on their lineup, but they have some good guys that came up from Triple A and they picked up. They're still a good team, they can bang, you've just got to keep them at bay."

TAKING STOCK: Maddon said last year's remarkable run, coming from 9 1/2 games back in September to clinch the AL wild card, can help the Rays this season as they battle with several teams for a playoff spot.

"It makes it more believable," Maddon said. "That's all it needs to be, is believable. If you know we've done something in the past, and believe you can in the future, definitely I think it has a better chance to play out.

"Furthermore, I think other teams that are in front of us know that we're capable of doing this also."

OUT AND ABOUT: OF Matt Joyce went to Lakeland on Monday to participate in a ribbon cutting for a new clubhouse at Florida Southern. … LHP David Price, CF B.J. Upton and LF Desmond Jennings will wrap up the 2012 Rays Dugout Club today with a final visit to each of their six rec centers in South St. Petersburg.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

James Shields hopes to post another solid outing for Tampa Bay Rays 08/06/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 6, 2012 7:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:36: Cash said the Rays will "be smart" in deciding whether to use Farquhar, Hunter and Colome tonight, so it could be a closing combo of the Blaze Brothers, Alvarado and Stanek, with Whitley another option. ... Cash said De Leon provides depth for tonight, and mentioned that some of the other relief …

  4. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play

    Sports

    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  5. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight

    Blogs

    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.