Padres Editorial: How Will James Shields Fare in the NL West?
By Tim Richer
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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The Giants were the last team Shields faced in 2014. The new Padres’ ace squared off against the Giants in the Fall Classic and things didn’t exactly go so great, but let’s focus on his first start against the Giants before we get into that. Before anyone was thinking about a Giants-Royals World Series match up, they faced each other in August in Kansas City. In that series, Shields tossed his only complete game shutout of 2014, and his first since September of 2012. He dominated them only allowing four hits.
Then in the World Series, things went just a little differently. His first start against the eventual World Champs was in the same place he shut them out just 2 months prior. This time he was banged around for five runs in just 3 short innings, putting his team down 1-0 in Series. His next, his first at AT&T Park, wasn’t nearly as bad. He made it through six innings allowing just two runs, but since Madison Bumgarner was on the other side, he would’ve needed to have been perfect to out duel him.
All in all, it’s a mixed bag for Shields against the Giants. One great start, one horrible one and one pretty good one. The results are mostly positive, so he can go into 2015 with some confidence against them, unless Bumgarner ends up being the opposing starter.
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I was a bit surprised when I saw the Giants’ numbers against Shields. I expected there to be more than one guy hitting over .500, especially after watching the World Series, but for the most part he’s held all of these guys in check. One notable omission from the lineup is Pablo Sandoval, who is no longer a Giant. He was one of the guys who did hit Shields hard. Despite people’s most recent memory of Shields getting light up in the World Series, he’s actually been very successful against this lineup and we should see more of that when they face again later this season.
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