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 starter James Shields hoping to bounce back from worst start of season

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Tonight is another homecoming for Rays right-hander James Shields, who grew up not too far from Angel Stadium. He likes pitching there despite mixed results in his three previous starts. He'll have enough family and friends on hand for his fourth tonight that he rented a suite so they'd be more comfortable.

But the most important thing on his mind is the bottom line, bouncing back from the worst start in his otherwise splendid season last week in Seattle.

"Obviously after my last game I need to get back in gear here," he said. "I had a really good bullpen session with (pitching coach Jim Hickey) working on some things in there to get my (delivery) line back in order, and I'm feeling good, ready to go."

Shields didn't think his last outing was really that bad, that the difference of making one better pitch, and getting a double-play grounder, could have kept Seattle to one run in the second instead of five and changed the entire outcome.

"I was one pitch away," he said. "Sometimes that happens."

He ended up working only four innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) including four home runs, as his ERA rose from 2.15 to 2.77.

Shields (5-4 ) had been remarkably consistent in an impressive bounceback season, running off a string of nine quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer runs) before Thursday's game .

"I definitely want to be back out there, that's for sure," he said. "Anytime you have a rough outing you have five days to thinking about, and this time I had six to think about it."

Shields said he didn't need any major adjustments, he just needed to fine-tune his delivery, which he compacted in spring training and is considered a big reason for his success.

"A better line to home, that's about it," Shields said. "Just staying in my delivery. It's worked out pretty well. I'm just trying to stay consistent."

Manager Joe Maddon said he feels Shields is worthy of a place on the AL All-Star team if he can maintain what he's doing. Shields would very much like the honor for the first time in his career but said he isn't concerning himself with it.

"We've got a little ways to go to the All-Star Game," he said. "I'm not thinking about that, I'm thinking about pitching my next game. … Obviously it's every ballplayer's dream to go play in an All-Star Game. But I'm focused on winning games for my team. That's all I care about."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields hoping to bounce back from worst start of season 06/08/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  2. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Chris Archer has made a name for himself on the mound. And at a time when some athletes work to steer clear of any issue with a tint of controversy for fear it could damage their brand, Archer has used that platform to weigh in on some topical social, political and news events.

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  4. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 5:12: Cash said the experiment of having Longoria hit 2nd is over, that they didn't get the "immediate results" they were looking for and he will go back to the No. 3 slot he is more comfortable with. ... Also, Kevin Kiermaier will stay at the top of the order as the primary leadoff hitter. ... Cash said …

  5. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.