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Red Sox join the James Shields hit parade

Jul 15, 2012, 3:59 PM EDT

James Shields AP

Already leading the majors in hits allowed with 135, James Shields gave up 11 more Sunday in the Rays’ 7-3 loss to the Red Sox, making this four straight starts in which he’s allowed at least 10.

Shields is the first pitcher since the Cardinals’ Joel Pineiro in 2008 to surrender at least 10 hits in four consecutive outings. The Rays’ Albie Lopez was the last pitcher to do it more than four starts in a row. He did it in six straight starts in 2001, losing all of them and racking up a 9.09 ERA in the process. Atlanta’s Greg Maddux actually did it five times in a row in 1999, going 2-3 with a 5.93 ERA during that span.

Shields was one of the AL’s best pitchers last year, going 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA in 249 1/3 innings. However, his 2012 is shaping up a lot more like his 2010, when he managed to give up 246 hits in 203 1/3 innings and finished 13-15 with a 5.18 ERA. The Rays would have gotten a top-notch return had they opted to move him last winter; the Reds were interested and could have parted with the same kind of package they gave up for Mat Latos (Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger). The Rays, though, weren’t trading him then and probably aren’t going to sell low on him now.

  1. hittfamily - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Josh Beckett has made this thing almost unwatchable. In the first inning, he threw 12 pitches in 10 minutes.

    • hittfamily - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Beckett: 6 IP, 2 hours 42 minutes. Thank god he’s gone!

      • wendell7 - Jul 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        who got the win?

  2. Ick McWang - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The Rays have team options on Shields for next year, so they have the ability to sit on him if trade deadline offers aren’t to their liking. I think Upton is more likely to go as he is a free agent at the end of the year, and if they can get something better trading him than the draft pick compensation by letting him walk, I can see that happening

    • hittfamily - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      I think the Rays will be in the same position as the Diamondbacks are with the other Upton, in that they will want help to compete this year. A lot of that will be determined by whether Joyce and Longo return though. I’m not sure whether either Upton or Shields gets moved though. Shields has been awful the past 5-6 starts, and Upton likely won’t net enough to lose him in an already weak lineup.

      I think Niemann or Davis for Ramon Hernandez is a possibility. I also think either of those for Alfonso Soriano is also a possibility.

      The Rays have 2 more options on Shields, so a move in the offseason would allow the receiving team to get draft picks when/if they don’t resign Shields, so a deal doesn’t have to be done this year.

      All of this relies on Longo and Joyce though. That lineup is so weak, that even with me being a Rays homer, I’m not foolish enough to think this team is going anywhere with Will Rhymes at third and Hideki Matsui DH’ing.

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