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. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.