CHICAGO — Since his trade to the White Sox, “Big Game” James Shields has certainly lived up to his name, but for all the wrong reasons. As a member of the Sox, Shields has started three games, lasted 8.3 innings, and given up 21 earned runs.
However, this stretch of bad appearances started even before Shields arrived on the South Side. In his final game as a member of the Padres, he surrendered 10 runs on eight hits and four walks throughout 2.2 innings.
Despite the dismal performance, White Sox GM Rick Hahn pulled the trigger, sending Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr. to San Diego.
With Shields’ numbers nearing historically bad levels, it begs comparison between other big name starters in Chicago. One compelling stat is the time it took for each pitcher to surrender between 31 and 32 earned runs.
While comparisons to pitchers of such a high caliber may not be entirely fair, Shields is being paid to perform up to similar levels. With his history as a perennial 200 inning pitcher, this current streak is bound to end.
In 10 games before his issues began, he had a 3.06 ERA with 56 strikeouts and only 23 walks through 64.2 innings pitched.
Although these starts have been excruciating for Shields and anyone involved with the White Sox, both he and Robin Ventura remain confident he will make the necessary corrections to help his team compete for the A.L. Central.