Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Big Game James vs. Mr. Cy Young and MVP
Posted Apr 11, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 11, 2012 at 09:04 AM
DETROIT James Shields meets Justin Verlander this afternoon at Comerica Park in a matchup that should excite everyone.
Verlander is 6-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 65 career innings against the Rays.
Shields is 4-0 against the Tigers, the only AL team that has yet to beat him. He is 2-0 in two starts in Detroit.
The last time those two hooked up turned out to be the only time the Tigers ace has lost to the Rays during his career.
I happened July 27, 2010 at the Trop. Carlos Peña hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Matt Joyce put the Rays ahead to stay in the sixth with an RBI single off Verlander.
Verlander threw a complete-game that day but took the loss as the Rays held on for a 3-2 victory.
Shields went 6 2/3 innings. He allowed nine hits and two runs, walked one and struck out seven.
Verlander enters this afternoon’s game at Comerica Park as the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP.
Shields often says pitchers don’t concern themselves with who is pitching for the other team, but you know facing Verlander will draw his attention.
If anything, Shields knows allowing five runs today to the Tigers like he did to the Yankees on Opening Day probably isn’t going to cut it against Verlander, who opened his season with eight scoreless innings against the Red Sox.