Big Game James
James Shields entered Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox with his team facing the possiblity of getting swept in four straight at Fenway. He certainly stepped up, holding the Red Sox to no runs and four hits while striking out five over 8.1 innings.
Last year, Shields relied on his fastball only 35.3% of the time; fairly low compared to the league average of 46.2%. Last night, he mixed up his pitches quite well, and in fact only threw 14 fastballs, accounting for just 14.8% of his total pitches.
In addition, Shields made sure to keep the ball away from righties yesterday, as you can see from the above graphic. Take a look at where RHB hurt him most in 2011:
Shields really limited right-handed batters in 2011 by hitting that outside part of the zone. He followed this pattern yesterday and as a result, the Tampa Bay Rays got a much needed 1-0 victory.