When the Kansas City Royals traded for “Big Game” James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays, they acquired an ace who ate a lot of innings and provided much needed stability for their starting rotation. His presence on their staff was just what the doctor ordered.
However, when you get to the post-season, this is when the games truly get “big” and Shields has been anything but that so far with respect to living up to his nickname.
In the one-or-done Wild Card game versus the Oakland A’s, Shields lasted five-plus innings and gave up four earned runs. Hardly the stuff of a legitimately big game pitcher.
In Shields’ only post-season win so far, he lasted six-innings and gave up two home runs against the Los Angeles Angels, which thankfully for the Royals, was good enough to get the “W.” Regardless, it was a quality start.
In his lone start of the American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles, he gave up 10 hits over five-innings along with four earned runs.
The soon to be free agent continued his less than stellar post-reason by only lasting three-plus innings, giving up seven hits, and allowing five earned runs to open the World Series for his soon-to-be former team.
That brings his post-season line to the following:
Innings Pitched: 19, Earned Runs: 15, Hits Allowed: 28, Walks: 6, Quality Starts: 1 in 4
The Royals essentially traded for two years worth of service from Shields, as everyone pretty much knows that he was a two year rental that the team will not be able to afford in free agency. Shields has done what the Royals had hoped he would do in the regular season by proving stability to a staff in need of an ace. However, in the post-season, he has been anything but the “big game” hurler they thought they were getting up to this point.