James Shields Tuned Up for the Padres

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Aug 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The season may still be six days away from opening, but the Padres James Shields is ready to go right now. He showed with his actions over the weekend, going seven innings in a loss to the Angels and throwing 91 pitches. This after failing to complete 5 innings the time before. Now he has one small tune-up start before facing the Dodgers next Tuesday in San Diego.

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The results didn’t exactly merit a ton of excitement for Padres fans hoping to see Shields stuff looking lights out. He allowed 5 runs and more concerning 2 home runs to the Angels hitters. That didn’t seem to worry Shields:

“Results I don’t think really showed how I pitched today, I feel like I made some really good pitches. … I’m just glad I got my work in today, got seven innings, got up and down seven times. I felt really good overall, body-wise.”

He should know better than anyone else, and certainly James Shields has been in the major leagues long enough now to know he wants his body to feel. After another 200 inning season that saw his ERA rise and lead the league in home runs, Shields is looking for a bounceback season his second in San Diego. He is a fierce competitor and I think he will adjust for another stellar season.

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He has said all the right things since being appointed the Game 2 starter for the Padres in lieu of Tyson Ross for the Opening Day nod, and I think his competitive fire will take hold all season long to prove to himself and Manager Andy Green that he wants that game ball back in his hand for 2017. As he finished up his seven inning stint on Saturday, acting manager Mark McGwire said his stuff looked “dead nasty”.  As the Padres prepare for a 2016 season where they aren’t being given much respect, James Shields is out to earn the respect that he and the Padres deserve.

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