Joe is back with his post-game thoughts….

Joe continues to watch James Shields get slapped around repeatedly — again today in the 7-3 loss to the Red Sox — and can’t help but wonder whether Sheilds is just the innings-eating, very hittable starter he was back in 2009 and 2010.

A peek and the stats, and Shields is pretty much the same guy he was back then minus the incessant long balls. Though watching him, he’s clearly much more mature on the mound.

But Joe’s not seeing where the fix is going to come with Shields. His velocity is there. He seems to still have nearly all the poise and maturity he showed last season. Teams have simply figured him out, and even a staunch optimist should have trouble projecting how Shields is going to right his season over his final 14 or so starts.

For Joe, the Sheilds dropoff is a huge hurdle to overcome to make the playoffs. Even if the bats come alive and fulfill every fan’s 2012 fantasy, they need Shields to stop throwing batting practice.

Ben Zobrist used to be a good baserunner, too, but that’s a rant for another day.

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9 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Shields has extremely high BABIP. Like, catastrophically high.

    I think this is a combination of becoming a groundball machine overnight, plus the totally inferior Rays infield in 2012.. bad combo.

    If Longo and Brignac were there, he might have a full run less on his ERA

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  2. Allen says:

    Rays are 1-2 since the all-star break so Rob’s prediction of a 1-5 2nd half beginning remains secure. Go Rays!

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    • Dave L says:

      And why are we rooting for that pray tell?

      Just curious?

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      • ALLEN says:

        Dave, we're not rooting for Rob's prediction of a 1-5 2nd half beginning. We're keeping track of a prediction, hoping it will not be fulfilled. What we're rooting for is a resurrection of the Rays strong starting pitching, consistently high performance on defense, timely hitting and a drastic reduction in offensive strike outs.

        Maybe Joyce's back problems are related to playing on the turf at the Trop.

        Go Rays!

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        • Rob says:

          I hope I am wrong, but I think Cleveland puts it on the Rays this week. I would also like to adjust my prediction - I didn't realize this was a 4-game series. The Rays will be 2-5 after 7.

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  3. phil says:

    They are playing cleveland ..should get some wins so...... no 1-5 start!

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