Friday, September 5, 2014

Yanks Royally Blanked

Yanks Blanked by James Shields and Wade Davis of Royals, 1-0

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 6- Devotees of good pitching were given an outstanding show at Yankee Stadium as starting pitchers Michael Pineda of the Yanks and James Shields of the Royals engaged in a fascinating pitching duel in which only one unearned run separated the two. Each of the three relief pitchers that followed continued the pitching clinic.

Although the two starters faced one another as recently as August 25, the 8-1 win by the Yanks was not representative of what took place on September 5. Shields, in his 31st start against the New Yorkers, was dealing his best stuff on Friday night. He retired the first 11 Yankee batters before Brett Gardner doubled with two out in the fourth. Gardner was only one of two Yankees who reached second base during the game.

The next hit off Shields was a single by Chase Headley in the fifth. Shields then retired 11 consecutive batters before Derek Jeter singled with one out in the ninth. At thst point the starter was removed from the game. Pinch runner Antoan Richardson stole second, but reliever Wade Davis struck out the next two batters to earn his first save of the season. Davis, who has not yielded  run since June 25, raised his league-leading scoreless innings streak to 28.2. His miniscule ERA of 0.72 leads the majors.

Both managers profusely praised the superlative performance of the Kansas City Starter. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi sounded like he was speaking of one of his own, “He just didn’t make any mistakes. He used all his pitches effectively. He didn’t walk anyone. We never did anything off him. We’ve seen it before.”

Ned Yost, the manager of the Royals, saw the same job done as Girardi, but was happier describing it, “This was a night he [Shields] was 100% dead on. Tonight was one of those nights James Shields was spot on. He was sharp as a tack.”

After the game, Yost was questioned by reporters for his reasoning in removing Shields in the ninth on a night he was pitching so effectively. He relied, “He [Shields] did his job and I brought in Wade to do his job. I chose option B and it worked out.”

Shields expressed no dissatisfaction in leaving the game’s result in the hands of Davis, “Wade did a great job. He’s been lights out. I’ll hand the ball over to these guys [Royals bullpen] all day.”

Shields also joked about he and Wade, both of whom were traded from Tampa to Kansas City in December 2012, pitching the game, “The ex-Rays boys pitched the game. I’m really proud of him [Davis].”

Shields also spoke of his happy experience pitching in Yankee Stadium, “I’ve pitched here a number of times. It never gets old. It’s so much fun pitching here. The crowd in Yankee Stadium is always electric. I love pitching here.”

The winning manager described the excitement of the game for him, “It’s invigorating. My heart’s

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