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James Shields has the most pickoffs by a right-handed pitcher since 1988

Sep 12, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

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

Last week James Shields became the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1999 to complete 11 games in a season and yesterday he became the first right-handed pitcher with 12 pickoffs in a season since Charlie Hough in 1988.

In MLB history there have only been 14 instances of a right-hander recording double-digit pickoffs in a season. Not only has Shields picked off 12 runners in 30 starts, he’s allowed a grand total of one stolen base all season while another five runners were thrown out. Add it all up and baserunners against Shields have one steal while making 17 extra outs.

He seems unlikely to get any serious Cy Young consideration, but Shields is having a remarkably good season. He leads the league in complete games and pickoffs while throwing 226 innings with a 2.70 ERA and 210/57 K/BB ratio. Not bad for a guy who led the league in hits, homers, and runs allowed in 2010.

  1. hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Incredible. 1 stolen base, and only 6 attempted steals in over 220 innings. Absolutely amazing.

    • indaburg - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      He is the man. And to think that last year I was willing to trade him for a pair of dirty socks. Comeback Player of the Year?

      • hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Me too. I was upset we traded Garza and not Shields. Guess that is why Friedman runs the team, and I comment on message boards. I saw your comment on my trip to the Rays game with my dad indaburg. Thank you.

      • indaburg - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:48 PM

        No prob. Your post was great.

  2. steve7921 - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    I agree that Verlander has been dominating and will win the Cy Young…but Shields should be the run-away 2nd place.

    Those stats are gawdy!

  3. yankeesfanlen - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    You are forgetting Andy Pettitte left-handed attempts, which peaked at 3,489 in 2009.

  4. pkers - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Wow. For a righty or a lefty, those are some amazing numbers.
    This seems to be good proof for why Catcher Caught-Stealing and Steals-Allowed stats should be taken with grains of salt…gotta have a staff that’s willing to hold runners/get the ball to the plate quickly.

  5. oikosjeremy - Sep 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Shields for the Gold Glove? Do Gold Glove voters account for stuff like picking guys off and being so good at holding runners that they don’t even try to steal, or get thrown out when they do try? I know Greg Maddux always used to win the Gold Glove in the NL–did he have great pickoff, stealing attempt, and stealing success rate numbers?

  6. urteamsux52 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    dont kill me i used to work the then d rays trade shields i dont think he can do this again we would get some players we got mcgee moore and others coming up what do u all think

  7. hittfamily - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    what are you talking about your lack of punctuation makes your post almost unreadable using commas periods or other forms of punctuation and capitalization would make this easier to read atleastyouusedthespacebarthough

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