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TODAY'S PITCHING MATCHUP

James Shields, RHP, Rays

Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP, Red Sox

Record/ERA

Regular season: 14-8, 3.56 - Postseason: 1-0, 4.26

Regular season: 18-3, 2.90 - Postseason: 0-0, 5.40

Age, Height/Weight

26, 6 feet 4/214 pounds

28, 6 feet/200 pounds

What's new

"Big Game James" hasn't lost a decision in his past seven starts and earned the win in Game 1 of the ALDS against the White Sox.

Matsuzaka has won two of his past four starts. In Game 2 of the ALDS against the Angels, he gave up three runs in five innings.

Scouting report

Shields' competitiveness helps him typically go late into games. His best pitch is his changeup, but he also can effectively throw a fastball and curve.

Matsuzaka boasts a wide repertoire and funky delivery and uses his changeup and slider often. Though he is tough to hit (.211 opposing average), he has a tendency to be wild (AL-high 94 walks) and lasted more than six innings just 10 times.

2008 regular season

vs. Red Sox: 2-2, 5.85 ERA - at home: 9-2, 2.59 ERA - vs. lefties: .255; vs. righties: .253

vs. Rays: 1-0, 3.00 ERA - on road: 9-0, 2.37 ERA - vs. lefties: .225; vs. righties: .195

Career

vs. Red Sox: 2-4, 5.23 ERA - at Tropicana Field: 19-8, 3.25 ERA

vs. Rays: 2-3, 3.75 ERA - at Tropicana Field: 1-2, 3.41 ERA

Matchups to watch

David Ortiz is 7-for-14 with two homers and six RBIs against Shields, J.D. Drew, right, 5-for-15 with a homer and two RBIs and Dustin Pedroia 5-for-10. Kevin Youkilis is 0-for-17, Jason Varitek 1-for-10 and Jacoby Ellsbury 1-for-10.

Akinori Iwamura, right, is 9-for-24 against Matsuzaka and Carlos Pena 6-for-15. Jason Bartlett is 1-for-11, Dioner Navarro 3-for-18 and B.J. Upton 1-for-13.

What they're saying

"I like to consider myself more of an old-school pitcher. No matter how many runs I give up, I try to go deep into the game and keep us in the game."

Shields

"He pauses. He quick-pitches. He does a lot of stuff. Aki knows him pretty well. So we'll be asking Aki a lot about him."

Rays leftfielder Carl Crawford

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