A disgusting game, a disgusting loss.
What has happened to “Big Game” Shields? Of late, he’s been slipping back into “No Game.”
Stellar pitching coach Jim Hickey tweaked Shields’ mechanics in the offseason and it was like there was a new pitcher. Shields, for the most part, has been dominant this season.
But of late, save for his dynamite three-hit, one-walk complete game shutout of the Florida Fish not quite two weeks ago, Shields has been having flashes of his nasty habit of giving up tons of home runs. In his last 44 1/3 innings, he has been tagged for seven homers.
Aside from his perfect game, that’s seven home runs in 35 1/3 innings. That’s borderline atrocious. And that’s what got the Rays in a hole early tonight.
The way the offense has grown impotent and very Derek Shelton-like of late, it’s imperative for Rays pitchers to not let the game get out of hand like it did in Seattle. It wouldn’t hurt if Felipe Lopez could catch, either.
There was one positive out of this stench. Matty Joyce hit his third home run against a lefty. Friends, Joyce is simply an everyday player and has proven it. This shouldn’t even be an issue any longer much less a concern. Right now he is the Rays best hitter and you do not pull your best hitter over this mixing and matching juggling.