Saturday, October 1, 2011
Rookie inspired Game 2 starter James Shields
By Jeff Caplan
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rays Game 2 starter James Shields, a six-year veteran with two postseasons under his belt, was trying, unsuccessfully, to keep surprise Game 1 starter, rookie Matt Moore, calm.
After all, Moore had less than 10 innings of major-league service under his belt. As his dominant seven-inning outing in Game 1 showed, Moore didn't need to be calmed.
"He was making me nervous because of how calm he was," said Shields, who was 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA during the regular season. "I don't think he understood the magnitude of [Friday's] game, but that's a good thing."
Shields understands the magnitude of Game 2. A win and the Rays head home with a 2-0 lead.
"He got me excited," Shields said of Moore. "I'm jacked up."
Along with Moore, Shields' two recent performances against the Rangers should also have him pretty juiced. He's posted two wins in going eight innings at Rangers Ballpark followed less than a week later in early September with a complete game in Tampa. He allowed one earned run.
Moore allowed just two hits, both to Josh Hamilton, while keeping baseball's most torrid lineup in September tied up in knots.
"They got one of the better hitting teams in the big leagues, but you have to be a aggressive," Shields said. "You have to attack those hitters. You can't make too many mistakes. They will capitalize on the mistakes that you make in the game, so you have to minimize your mistakes as much as you can."