Tag:Kerwin Danley
Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:47 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 10:49 pm

Shields implodes in fourth as Rays fall


By Evan Brunell

James Shields was among the best pitchers in baseball all year, and entered Saturday having posted a 2.82 ERA on the season. He also had the honor of being the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1992 to record 11 complete games and four shutouts in a season, but it was all for naught on Saturday. Shields was rocked for seven runs in five-plus innings, with the big blow coming in a five-run fourth.

Shields was spot-on for much of the game, whiffing six batters in all and issuing zero walks, but imploded in the fourth inning, which was complicated by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley's blown call. Danley wasn't biting on calling the low strike, which led to some close calls and forced Shields to elevate his pitches right into the heart of the strike zone. But he began the fourth with a surprising loss of control, plunking Elvis Andrus with a pitch.

More LDS Coverage
Josh Hamilton and Michael Young then both singled to load the bases. Shields then plunked yet another batter, this time Adrian Beltre. That forced in a run and got Rangers fans going, who had so far been silenced by Shields and staring at a 3-0 hole after Derek Holland began the game with his own jitters. Shields was able to strike out Nelson Cruz, but then came the blown call by Kerwin Danley, which was enough to land Danley as the goat of the game. David Murphy hit a ball straight down at home plate and Danley called it foul before the play was even over. The ball bounced fair, allowing Kelly Shoppach to pounce on it and throw Murphy out.. except the play had already been ruled dead. Murphy went on to strike out, but it was in the process of Shields throwing a wild pitch, so Murphy reached while Beltre scored. A RBI groundout by Mitch Moreland followed before Shields finally got to walk off the mound after inducing a flyout by Ian Kinsler.

It looked like Shields was getting back on track with a clean fifth inning, but two consecutive singles to open the inning sent Shields to the showers. Texas would go on to score twice in the inning, both runs charged to the righty. It was certainly a surprising performance by Shields, who began the game crisp but later unraveled at the seams.

Shields has been here before. Last season, he faced the Rangers in Game 2 of the ALDS as well, and served up four runs in 4 1/3 innings. In that game, Shields' big inning came in the fifth when he allowed a three-run homer to Michael Young and later an Ian Kinsler RBI grounder before his night ended.

Shields lasted longer than he did in 2010, but unfortunately the end result was the same: An ALDS Game 2 loss.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:36 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 12:19 am

Instant Reaction: Rangers 8, Rays 6

By Evan Brunell

ALDS Game 2: Rangers 8, Rays 6

WP: Derek Holland

LP: James Shields

S: Neftali Feliz

HR: TB - Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce | TEX - Mitch Moreland

Series: Rays 1, Rangers 1 in best-of-5

Hero: It was a rather balanced offensive attack for the Rangers, but Mitch Moreland deserves the honors here. Texas jumped out ahead thanks to a five-run fourth inning and looked to be wrapping up the game in the seventh, ahead by a 7-3 score. However, Evan Longoria changed things by blasting a three-run homer and pulling Tampa Bay within one. It was a tight ballgame again, but Moreland brought down the anxiety level in Texas by cranking a homer for a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Moreland also had a RBI groundout to cap the scoring in the fourth and ended the night with two RBI.

Goat: Home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley may have changed the outcome of the game and series as a whole when he jumped the gun in the fourth inning. With James Shields struggling, two runs in and runners on second and third, the righty really needed an out to stamp out the fire. He almost registered the second out of the inning when Kelly Shoppach pounced on a dribbler in front of home plate and easily threw out David Murphy -- or he would have, had Danley not called the ball foul already. The ball had come off the bat straight down in foul territory but bounced into fair territory, which means it should have counted. Murphy would go on to strike out, but reached on a wild pitch that scored another run. One more would cross before it was all over, and the Rangers' five-run inning set the tone for the rest of the game. No one's saying the Rays would have won without that miscue -- after all, the game was tied at that point and Shields was imploding -- but to make that kind of error with the stakes as high as they are is inexcusable. An extra couple seconds would have made the difference. You don't need to call a ball foul that fast, especially when it's at home plate. Most umpires -- most competent ones -- move out from their stance and attempt to get a visual on the ball from the side before calling it fair or foul. Danley just didn't bother.

Update: Joe Maddon reported that Danley's case was that Murphy's bat hit the ball a second time. (@jasoncollette)

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Rangers-Rays series | 2011 playoffs

Video: Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli talk about the win

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com