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James Shields’ White Sox debut has been a nightmare


Update (9:17 PM EDT): Shields was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Rendon to lead off the third inning.


White Sox starter James Shields made his much-anticipated debut with his new club on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field against the Nationals. It very quickly went off the rails.

After striking out Ben Revere to lead off the ballgame, Shields walked Jayson Werth and yielded a bunt single to Bryce Harper, who beat the shift. Daniel Murphy then drove home a run with a line drive single to right field. Following that, Wilson Ramos hit a 5-3 ground out to plate a second run, and then Ryan Zimmerman cranked out a two-run homer to make it 4-0. Shields was able to get Anthony Rendon to fly out to end the frame.

In the second, Shields continued to unravel, serving up back-to-back solo home runs to Stephen Drew and Danny Espinosa to open up the frame. The home crowd continued to boo Shields. Revere and Werth both reached on singles to bring up Harper. Harper worked the count full, then watched a backdoor slider for strike three. The home crowd sarcastically applauded Shields. Shields got Murphy to ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, but walked Ramos to load the bases. Mercifully, Zimmerman grounded out weakly to end the inning.

Through two innings, Shields has yielded the six runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts on 79 pitches.

The White Sox acquired Shields from the Padres on Saturday in exchange for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis, Jr.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.