Damn, Joe’s going to need another beer. What a fantastic game by Big Game Shields, who has really lived up to his nickname this year.

Last year Joe was ready to bury the guy and man, Joe is enjoying his crow. Welcome back Big Game, welcome back!

Has Big Game had a better game? Joe doesn’t think so. He went 8 2/3 before allowing his first walk. He racked up 13 strikeouts. He only allowed three hits.

Dude was dominant.

Joe’s very much a pitching/defense kinda guy. So this game was more than pleasurable for Joe.

Joe hasn’t written about the following guy much if at all, but if there is a better pitching coach in the major leagues than Jim Hickey, please let Joe know. Hickey spent extra time and research in the offseason to figure out what happened to Big Game last year when he turned into No Game.

The tick was found and, voila! Big Game is back.

And Joe is a happy man because of it.



  1. Beth says:

    I'm glad you gave a shout out to Hickey. As a fan I really can't tell whether a coach is any good. But if we fans are going to blame Derek Shelton for weak hitting, don't we have to credit Hickey for pitching that exceeds expectations? Many give Friedman credit for finding underpriced relievers who come to Tampa Bay, have a productive year, get a big salary to go somewhere else where they barely earn their pay. But is it possible that Jim Hickey is just a really good pitching coach and he can get a lot out of the guys that land in his bullpen?

    (And by the way, Joe, here's one reader who REALLY wishes you'd lose the third person shtick. It distracts from your otherwise enjoyable posts.)

    • Joe Rays Fan says:

      Thanks Beth for the kind words.

      To be honest, if Joe dropped the third person shtick, it wouldn’t be Joe! 🙂

  2. Joe says:

    I love Shields, why can't anyone else, yes im including you, David, be so consistent?

    I mean 3 hits, 13 k's, 0 runs, got upset over his 1 walk. Flat out sick.

  3. Don says:

    WE'll see how good Hickey is the rest of 2011....
    He has a #1 pitcher falling apart, Davis doing nothing lately, and a#5 that doesn't belong..he has to have some say so in keeping him...SO see if hickey can patch this staff together OR if it Falls apart even more than it has the last few weeks? Shields/ HEllboy carrying the load!


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