James Shields was very James Shields-like last night. 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5, 1 HR. This is basically your normal Shieldsian effort. After a little trouble in the second inning with the bases loaded, Shields barrelled down and continued to limit the damage through out the rest of his outing. Shields would get a no decision, but for six innings he kept his team in the game against of the better arms in baseball, Josh Johnson.
Once again, Shields used his entire arsenal of pitches. He threw a combined (two seam and four seam) 34% fastballs, 21% change ups, 23% sliders, 17% curveballs, 5% cutters. Overall, he threw 65% of his pitches for strikes. The key for Shields was mixing up all his pitches in different spots. Just check out this chart from brooksbaseball.
As I pointed out a few weeks ago, Shields continues to use his slider while limiting his cutters and the results continue to show. In his past six starts, Shields is 3-1 with a 3.05 ERA/2.57 FIP. He has just four walks in his past 41 innings and has a K/BB of 7.25 during the stretch.
Also, how good is J.P. Howell? 11 pitches to record the final four outs...J.P. in game chilled...quickly.