Tough luck: James Shields takes a complete game loss


James Shields has thrown a lot of complete games this year and today he tossed his ninth.  A three-hitter too!  Except he lost. The Sox beat the Rays 3-1.

That’s what happens when (a) the other team’s pitchers only give up three hits as well; and (b) unlike you, they don’t bunch them altogether at once.  Two singles and a homer allowed in the third inning aren’t a lot on the grand scheme of things, but it’s everything when your offense can only scratch across one run on a first inning groundout. Jon Lester allowed only one hit in his seven innings.  Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out.

This game, the first of  a twin bill, flew by pretty quickly for AL East standards, at two hours twenty-four minutes.  I always wonder if guys consciously buzz through games in a double header in order to get more chill time.


Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.