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)

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields wins AL player of the week after back-to-back complete game victories

MINNEAPOLIS — RHP James Shields planned to keep a couple of balls and the lineup cards as memorabilia from his back-to-back complete game victories. Now he'll have another souvenir: the American League player of the week award and the Game Time watch that comes with it.

Shields was honored for his stellar performances, beating the White Sox 2-1 for his first win since August then coming back Sunday to shut out the Blue Jays 2-0. For two games, he allowed eight hits (and a .138 average), struck out 16, walked only three and threw 200 pitches total.

With the improvement considered a direct result of a spring training change in his delivery, Shields (2-1, 2.35) believes he can keep pitching this way.

"I feel like I go out and give the team a chance to win every fifth day, but yeah, I'm feeling really good right now," Shields said Sunday. "I'm going to try to stay even-keeled and stay as consistent as I can."

The weekly award was Shields' second; he also won in April 2008 for beating Toronto and Boston. And it was the second straight for a Rays player, as Johnny Damon was co-player of the previous week with Angels RHP Dan Haren.

MINNESOTA NICE: 1B Dan Johnson is looking for something to change after a career-worst start that has him sporting a .131 average, lowest of any player in the majors with at least 60 at-bats.

He's banking that four days at his home just outside Minneapolis, hanging out with sons Kaden and Blake, eating his wife Holly's most-excellent cooking, sleeping in his own bed and visiting with friends and other relatives, can make a difference.

"Hopefully getting home will change up the karma a bit and make everything good," he said.

What's most frustrating, Johnson said, is how well he feels he has been swinging and how bad his luck has been on balls he hits.

"It's been horrendous," he said. "I don't comprehend it. I can't figure it out. I went through a stretch where I was just lining out almost every time, then I got hit in the hand and had like four days off and then I had to get the swing going again. … It feels like there's been 40 guys out there fielding them."

J.P. DUTY: LHP J.P. Howell had a second successful rehab appearance for the extended spring training team, allowing two hits and striking out three over 11/3 innings and throwing 17 of his 25 pitches for strikes.

"Good day, glad to pass another test," Howell texted. "With each step more happiness."

Howell, nearing recovery from May 2010 shoulder surgery, now moves up to the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs, with plans to start Thursday's game in Port Charlotte, throwing up to 30 pitches. He is expected to rejoin the Rays around May 16-17.

ON TARGET: Manager Joe Maddon is a big fan of Target Field, and not just because the Rays went 3-1 there in its inaugural 2010 season. Maddon likes the look, the layout and the vibe created around the downtown ballpark, dropping a subtle hint regarding the Rays' future.

"Loved it," he said. "Except for a little bit of glare (off the buildings), they did a really good job. The small footprint downtown I think would look really good in other parts of the United States as well. I was very impressed with the facility."

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields wins AL player of the week after back-to-back complete game victories 04/25/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2011 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans previews 2017-18 NBA season, predicts Warriors will be dethroned

    Bucs

    Tampa isn't the greatest basketball market. In fact, it's just about the worst.

    Mike Evans and Jameis Winston celebrate after connecting for a touchdown against the Bears in September. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  4. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]