HO-HO-HOOOOOOOLY CRAP that was bad. WOW, JEEEEEEEEEEZ. That was baaaaaaaaad. That was…hoooooooo wheee. I mean, wh—WOW. Can you be–I just can’t even imagine. That was, that was TERRIBLE. The first game. HIS FIRST GAME! Right away! Just a disaster!
1. James Shields: 2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3 HR, 84 pitches.
Man, MAN. WOW he was bad. He had nothing, nuthin’. NOTHING. That line looks bad, I’ll admit that line looks bad, but listen, listen, lissen…it was worse than that looks.
He was awful. Awful! Not bad luck, not BABIP, just meatballs and pitches in the dirt. Nothing else. Whoa. Whoa, that was bad. Wowee kazowee. Looooooooorrrrrrd.
2. Shields could not, would not, throw his curve for a strike. Or really finish any of his pitches at all. Maybe I shouldn’t be so specific about the strikes or balls distinction, as Shields just couldn’t find his location in any sort of way. The super-hangers he offered up to Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Drew, and Danny Espinosa that got bombed into the seats certainly found the zone after all.
Those were some standouts moments of hard contact, but Shields got behind everyone, and couldn’t come back in the zone with any kind of command and just was hammered until he was mercifully pulled with no one out in the third.
If it’s any solace, Shields stuff seemed like it had somewhat normal life, and his velocity was fine, he just looked completely a mess mechanically. This is obviously really bad for someone who is supposed to be an immediate upgrade and instead looks to be his own project, but he doesn’t look completely cooked and near retirement. This distinction is significant for a team that gave John Danks the ball several times this year.
3. Max Scherzer effortly blitzed through the White Sox punchless lineup, twirling seven shutout innings with just 97 pitches. The only runner he allowed to reach third base was Jimmy Rollins in the fifth, who was unwisely sent home by third base Joe McEwing on an Avisail Garcia single, only to be thrown out at home by 15 feet by Bryce Harper to end the inning. The Sox were losing 7-0 at the time.
A pair of ninth inning doubles by Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera ended the shutout, and RBI singles by Garcia and Adam Eaton gave the Sox offense a semi-decent night thanks to some inexplicable late-game relief noodling from Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who no one would criticize for being bored.
4. The White have an eight-man bullpen, and got three innings out of Last Man Matt Purke the previous night, but not only used by Nate Jones and David Robertson to “get some work in” (In Robertson’s case he just got worked for a Jayson Werth three-run bomb), but also used J.B. Shuck to pitch the ninth.
Shuck touched the low-90s with some sinking action and should probably start stealing some innings from Dan Jennings, but tossing out Jones and Robertson to knock the rust off is less than amusing after the Detroit series, and every other game where the Robin Ventura sent out the flotsam of his relief corps every time they fell behind by a run.
5. After being 23-10 at one point, the Sox have gone 6-20, which is the worst in baseball over that time, because how could it not be.
Team Record: 29-30
Next game is Thursday at 8:10pm ET vs. Washington on WPWR
Lead Image Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski // USA Today Sports Images