Padres News: James Shields vs. The NL West


James Shields is the San Diego Padres’ newest big gun. Since he has spent his entire career up to this point in the American League, his experience against the National League West is very limited. In fact, he has only nine starts against NL West teams, including the Padres. He only has one career start in Petco Park. The Padres bolstered an already impressive rotation with Shields, sparking even more optimism heading into Spring Training. Here is a look at Shields’ limited career numbers against NL West teams.

He has pitched the most against the Colorado Rockies. In three starts, he has thrown 19 innings (6 1/3 innings per start) and allowed eight runs (3.79 ERA). The majority of the Rockies’ damage on Shields has been done at Coors field. He allowed 7 of the 8 runs total against Colorado at Coors Field (5.25 ERA). Shields struggled at Coors in his first start there, but last season he had an impressive outing, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs with 6 strikeouts.

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The Diamondbacks have had success against Shields in two tries. Granted, his last go at the D-Backs was seven years ago. He has an ERA of 6.00 in 12 innings, with 9 strikeouts. His only start at Chase Field in Phoenix was an ugly one. He allowed 6 runs in 5 innings. It is difficult to judge how he will do in 2015 in Arizona, because he has not pitched there since he was just starting in the league. He has improved drastically since then.

His career against the defending World Series champion Giants is limited. He pitched a complete game shutout against the Giants in the regular season last year. However, we most remember his two performances against them in last year’s World Series. He started twice in that Fall Classic and was knocked around for 7 runs in 9 total innings and he was pegged for the loss each time. For this reason, it seems to be a popular opinion that he needs to re-earn his nickname “Big Game” James. This is the biggest Padres season in years, he will have that chance.

Lastly, Shields has a 2.57 ERA in 2 starts against his new home team, the Padres. He pitched against them last season when the Royals and Padres had an interleague series. That day he pitched 7 shutout innings, while striking out 4. He seemed right at home at Petco Park then. Padres fans hope that his outing last season is a glimpse into what he will do moving forward for the Friars. It is hard to judge his past experiences against NL West teams to project his 2015 outcomes. He has not gotten a lot of chances to pitch in NL West parks, and his opportunities have been sporadic throughout his career. World Series aside, in the past few years he has had more success against the NL West in the last year or two than earlier in his career.

Next: Was The Signing Of James Sheilds A Mistake?

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