Daily Process: James Shields Delivers, Rays Finish 5-1 on Road Trip | The Process Report

Daily Process: James Shields Delivers, Rays Finish 5-1 on Road Trip

James Shields continued a streak of pitching deep into ball games this season by going seven. It was the sixth-straight start in that Shields went at least seven innings and upholds his perfect ratio of going at least six innings deep in every start in 2011.

In the box score, Shields is going to receive credit for a strong effort where he walked one, allowed two earned runs, and struck out seven on 101 pitches. It wasn’t quite that clean, as Shields fell behind often today (by hand count, he fell behind 2-0 or 2-1 to five of the 11 batters he faced), but the second earned run stemmed from Sam Fuld misplaying a batted ball with a triple being the result.

Still, Shields had moments of brilliance. One at-bat versus Shin-Soo Choo had Shields throwing a first-pitch curve then back-to-back changeups before tossing a fastball for a swinging strike three as Choo appeared bewildered at what Shields would go with next. This was a common occurrence, as at least one or two at-bats ended with the batter seemingly giving up on the pitch (one Michael Brantley at-bat comes to mind).

Shields threw a little over 60 percent of his four-seam fastballs for strikes—slightly under the league average rate and well below his seasonal average—yet it speaks to the quality of his change and curve that he can manage without his best control. Worth nothing, though, is that the umpire didn’t do Shields many favors on the day.

Oh, and Shields added two pickoffs to his stat sheet. Always the possessor of quick feet, Shields has really taken controlling the running game into his own hands.

Reid Brignac broke into the extra-base hit column for the first time this season. It came on a ball that Brignac didn’t even believe would stay fair. It did and Brignac can remove the monkey from his back.

Otherwise, everyone pitched in offensively. Only Kelly Shoppach failed to record a hit and even he drew one of the Rays seven walks on the day.


  1. professortwain wrote:

    I didn’t get to see the game today, but Sam Fuld missed another ball in the outfield? He has taken the wrong path to several balls in left field over the past few games as well. I like the guy but he is showing his more average side a bit lately.

    • R.J. Anderson wrote:

      Yeah, it was a liner towards his right, he took a weird route to it and the ball went under his glove.

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