Shields settles in after rough start, delivers quality outing
DENVER -- James Shields offered the Padres a quality start and put them in position to win the game, but with a restless Rockies lineup that fought back in the late innings, Shields' effort fell just shy of what the club needed in a 5-4 defeat at Coors Field on Wednesday.
Shields gave up five of his six hits and all of his three runs in the first two innings. He gave up a solo shot to Corey Dickerson and three doubles to Nolan Arenado, Michael McKenry and DJ LeMahieu before the game's fourth out, then settled into a groove and threw up goose eggs for his final four frames.
"The first inning, my ball was up," Shields said. "They were swinging early, and I was trying to get ahead of the hitters, and they took advantage of it. I settled down there the rest of the game and got the job done."
After going through the lineup once in the first two innings, Shields did a better job of mixing in his curve and keeping the Rockies off balance with his offspeed pitches. He was effective at keeping the ball down, leading to a couple of big double plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
"You're going to have those games and you're going to have to grind through it," Shields said of his last couple of starts, when he pitched without his best stuff. "I tried to keep the team in the game as much as possible tonight, just like last game. Sometimes you're going to go through that, and if you can minimize your damage, you're going to be good. We've got a good enough team to score a lot of runs, so if you can keep us in the ballgame, we're going to be fine."
After trailing for much of the game, the Padres took the lead in the seventh and help it until the bottom of the eighth, when the Rockies tied it on Dickerson's second homer of the game. Colorado walked off in the ninth.
"I thought he threw the ball fine," manager Bud Black said. "They nicked him there in the first. Dickerson got a ball up out over the plate and got a homer. He could have kept going if we didn't get to his spot [in the batting order]. He had eight innings in him, possibly. And he threw up four zeros after they nicked him in the second. Good game. He did great."