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Tough luck: James Shields takes a complete game loss

Aug 16, 2011, 3:53 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game One Getty Images

James Shields has thrown a lot of complete games this year and today he tossed his ninth.  A three-hitter too!  Except he lost. The Sox beat the Rays 3-1.

That’s what happens when (a) the other team’s pitchers only give up three hits as well; and (b) unlike you, they don’t bunch them altogether at once.  Two singles and a homer allowed in the third inning aren’t a lot on the grand scheme of things, but it’s everything when your offense can only scratch across one run on a first inning groundout. Jon Lester allowed only one hit in his seven innings.  Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out.

This game, the first of  a twin bill, flew by pretty quickly for AL East standards, at two hours twenty-four minutes.  I always wonder if guys consciously buzz through games in a double header in order to get more chill time.


  1. aceshigh11 - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Well, thank god for Jacoby Ellsbury…the rest of the offense was slumming it today.

    I wonder how much it will cost the Sox to keep him around after the unbelievable year he’s having? It seems like they HAVE to sign him now.

    • Ari Collins - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      He’s under club control for next year and the year after, and will probably cost something like $11M in those two years. Sox would love to sign him long-term, I’m sure, but he’s got Boras for an agent, so he will almost certainly test FA. Probably better for the Sox to let someone else sign him for $20M+ per for his ages 31 and on seasons.

    • marshmallowsnake - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      No extension for Ellsbury…the Devil (Bora$) won’t allow it.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        You mean he’ll actually put the best financial interests of his client first? What a shit-head!

  2. kopy - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Not only would I be shocked if players didn’t consciously speed through the first game of doubleheaders (by stepping out of batter’s box less, less talks on the mound, etc.), I wouldn’t be surprised if the home plate umpire keeps a nice, wide strike zone.

    The break between games isn’t all that long, and it probably seems way too short for them. I’m sure they all have an “unwritten rule” to get back to the dugout so they can hang out, eat, and get ready for the next game in as relaxing a manner as possible.

    • kopy - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      P.S. Can we call it a complete game when Shields threw 8 innings? I would think no, similar to how an 8-inning no-hitter isn’t a no-hitter.

      • bloodysock - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        Joe Maddon will send Shields out to pitch the first inning of the night cap to meet your nine inning requirement.

      • holmes31 - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        It absolutely is considered a complete game. No one relieved him, he pitched the entire duration of the game.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

        It is though. There have been a handful of 8-inning CG Losses this year and since they have no opportunity to pitch the ninth, it is still a CG by the rulz…

      • kopy - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        Alright, thanks for the clarification. I really didn’t know. MLB seems a little inconsistent in their rulings in that way. Would a 6-inning regulation game ended with a rain-out satisfy the complete game statistic too? Assuming a starter pitched all of it, of course.

      • marshmallowsnake - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Yeah, this should not be a CG. Matt Young lost a no hitter in 1992 because of this…so, I would assume no complete game, but I bet that only counts for No-Hitters.

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        After Googling the definition of a complete game I’m more confused than I was before. Does someone have a source for the definition of a CG in Major League Baseball, (because different leagues may use different rules.)

        I know for a no-hitter to be a No-Hitter is has to be 9 IP, Andy Hawkins taught me that.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        Would a 6-inning regulation game ended with a rain-out satisfy the complete game statistic too

        Yes, Phil Hughes was credited with a CG when the Yanks beat the White Sox in 6 innings. It’s also why there were tons of caveats to the Yanks not having a CG pitcher a few weeks back (CG Win over 9 innings).

      • hittfamily - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

        This is Shields 2nd CG loss this year. He lost 1-0 to CC and the run was unearned. It was the day after 3000 if I remember right.

  3. bloodysock - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    To qualify for a complete game, a pitcher must pitch every inning for his team without the help of a relief pitcher. If a game goes 10 innings, a pitcher must pitch all 10 to earn a complete game. If a pitcher’s team only fields eight innings (they lose after their half of the ninth) the pitcher qualifies for a complete game. If a game is called before reaching nine innings and is an official game, that also counts as a complete game.

    • marshmallowsnake - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Good to know…

  4. ThatGuy - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Its to bad James Shields just doesn’t know how to win.

  5. shaggylocks - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Tough luck James Shields, or, uh, good job Boston, perhaps?

  6. professor59 - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    A few years back, MLB changed the rules on no-hitters that they had to at least 9 innings. It wiped out all those rain-shortened no-hitters (and perfect games).

    Had to make extra room in the record book for all the roid-heads, you know.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:32 PM

      That’s not true. As I mentioned above, Phil Hughes has one complete game this year when he went 6IP against the Sox and the game was completed due to rain. Here’s his page

      CC Sabathia also has 3 CG this year, but has only pitched 9IP twice. Here’s his page

  7. hittfamily - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Why the hell is Damon still in the lineup. The Rays have a massive buildup of prospects, and yet we continue to use a below average, over the hill DH. He is a nice guy, and still contributes, but not towards their future, and that is what they are playing for right now.

    I would rather have Brandon Guyer at DH. Or Russ Canzler, a 25 year old in AAA with a .320/.405/.548 line. I just do not understand what Damon is doing in this lineup.

    On a side not, Shields has 9 CG, and only 11 wins. Tough luck, or a crap lineup we keep sending out.

    • robertterwilliger - Aug 16, 2011 at 7:13 PM

      ease off the throttle. he pinch hit in the 8th.

      • hittfamily - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:05 AM

        He was in the lineup for game 2. That is when I posted it.

  8. stratomaticfan - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Tough Luck? You mean Tough Luck that he’s not Jon Lester. Or tough luck that he put one right in Jacoby Wan Kenobi’s wheelhouse? Big game James? Not….go back and beat up some more teams under .500

    • hittfamily - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:07 AM

      Rays are 6-5 vs the sox. Who are they beating up on?

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