Aug 9, 2011, 9:30 PM EDT
James Shields beat the Royals 4-0 in one hour, 53 minutes on Tuesday night, notching his fourth shutout of the season.
The six-hitter was the fastest nine-inning contest in Rays franchise history.
It was also Shields’ major league-best eighth complete game of the year. Roy Halladay is second with six, while Lee is the only other pitcher with five.
Of course, this year is shaping up as a banner year for shutouts. Shields and Holland have already matched the high total for an AL starter since 2000. Lee has matched the high total for any pitcher the last 20 years. The last pitcher to record more than five shutouts in a season was Randy Johnson, who had six with the Mariners and Astros in 1998.
Even last season, the supposed “year of the pitcher,” saw just two AL pitchers record multiple shutouts: Dallas Braden and Carl Pavano finished with two shutouts apiece. Halladay led the majors with four.
With eight complete games, Shields also has a pretty good shot at becoming the first pitcher to reach double figures since Johnson finished with 12 in 1999.
- The D-Backs weren’t kidding about the retaliation thing 18
- Red Sox prospect gets arrested, acts like a monumental jackwagon 63
- Jon Niese bristles at the media reporting Dan Warthen’s racial slur — and I sorta understand why 45
- Jimmy Rollins on Ryne Sandberg: “Everyone is allowed to have their opinion. That doesn’t make it right.” 75
- Smart money on Hanley Ramirez, Jay Bruce in prop bets 26
- Is Barry Bonds really getting a “fair hearing?” (104)
- Keith Olbermann REALLY hates that Barry Bonds is coaching the Giants for a week (100)
- Manny Machado calls $519K salary for 2014 “disappointing” (90)
- Giants players love having Barry Bonds at spring training (90)
- Ryan Braun calls himself an “artist,” doesn’t care what fans on the road will shout at him (84)