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)

World Series: Rays seeking solace in Shields

James Shields gave up just five earned runs in 13 innings against the Red Sox in the ALCS but took the loss both times.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

James Shields gave up just five earned runs in 13 innings against the Red Sox in the ALCS but took the loss both times.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays right-hander James Shields said he thrives in tough spots. An admitted old-school pitcher, Shields is eager to live up to his moniker of "Big Game James."

So it came as no surprise that, minutes after the Rays' 3-2 loss to the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night, Shields, tonight's starter, said, "I'm ready to go right now."

And for his teammates, there are few guys they'd rather have on the mound when they face adversity. The Rays, down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, need a win to avoid going back to Philadelphia in a huge hole.

"This is the guy who, as a team, we probably want on the hill right now," third baseman Evan Longoria said of Shields. "He's been pretty good, him and Matt Garza both, back-to-back now, we've got a good chance to win two games in a row."

Shields, who said the starters feed off each other, pointed out that left-hander Scott Kazmir pitched "great," allowing just three earned runs in six innings Wednesday in giving the Rays a chance to win.

Tonight, Shields will try to do the same and improve upon his last outing. In Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, Shields struggled with his command and gave up four runs on nine hits in his second straight loss.

"I don't think I was on with my fastball command as I wanted to be," Shields said. "I was just missing the plate. But sometimes that happens. And I thought I did a pretty good job of getting as deep as I could in the game."

That's a pattern. Shields, 26, has logged 2341/3 innings this season, a career high.

"Last year I think I approached 215 innings, and my body kind of had some wear and tear," he said. "I think I changed my offseason program a little bit to counteract maybe this situation."

Shields has shown he can perform well on the postseason stage, picking up a win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the White Sox.

In Game 1 of the ALCS, Shields felt he had his "A game," giving up just two runs in 71/3 innings of a Rays 2-0 loss to the Red Sox.

"Big Game James, man, same thing," Rays reliever J.P. Howell said. "Once again, here he comes after a loss. This is just another one of those situations. He's got to do what he's been doing — nothing exceptional, we don't need great, amazing, we don't need a no-hitter. We need him to go seven strong. If he did that, we'll put ourselves in a good situation to take charge."

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

World Series: Rays seeking solace in Shields 10/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs roundtable: Time for another kicking panic?

    Bucs

    Five days after the beleaguered Roberto Aguayo got cut after missing a PAT and a field goal, new Bucs kicker Nick Folk had a PAT blocked and missed a field goal.

  2. The Bloomingdale's that a Ruth baseball built

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — A treasure, possibly worth half a million dollars, could lie behind a granite slab at the base of the Bloomingdale's flagship store in Manhattan in New York City, just a few feet from a window displaying designer handbags: a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

    According to reports from 1930, this cornerstone of Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City could have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and other items entombed with instructions not to open for 200 years. The Ruth ball, if there and in good condition, could be worth a record $500,000. [ New York Times]
  3. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.