James Shields Is Not Having The Worst Three-Start Stretch In White Sox History
James Shields has started three games for the Chicago White Sox. He has lasted 8.2 innings in those three starts, allowing 21 earned runs. He has an ERA of 21.81 in Chicago.
His best performance was against Detroit, when he allowed six earned runs (seven total) over five innings. In his other two starts, against Washington and Cleveland, he's allowed 15 earned runs in 3.2 innings.
James Shields has been horrible.
The trade for Shields, which cost the White Sox only another bad pitcher in Erik Johnson, as well as a 17-year old Fernando Tatis Jr, could already be considered a loss for the White Sox. The way Shields is pitching the Sox could be paying him $27 million just to stay the hell away from the team soon.
As terrible as he's been, however, believe it or not, Shields three-game stretch is not the worst by a White Sox starter in team history.
In fact, there have been six different Sox pitchers -- Shields now included -- who have had three consecutive starts in which they lasted five innings or less while allowing six runs or more. It hasn't even been all that long since it last happened.
Back in 2014, in a three-start stretch from April 7 to April 18, Felipe Paulino allowed 22 earned runs in 13 innings. The April 18 start was Paulino's last start for the White Sox, and the final one of his career. He couldn't survive it.
Still, even as bad as Paulino's stretch was -- and it was better than Shields' -- it was not the worst three-start stretch in franchise history.
To find that we have to go back to 1995 and Jason Bere.
The 1995 season was a very frustrating season for White Sox fans. The team had won the AL West in 1993, and in 1994 the Sox had been leading the new AL Central by a game over the Indians when the season came to an end due to a strike. So when the 1995 season began, the Sox were coming off a 93 season in which they made the playoffs, and a 94 season in which they were likely going to make the playoffs again. As you'd expect, fans had high expectations going into the 95 season.
The team got off to an 11-20 start, which is already bad, but made even worse due to the shortened 144-game schedule. Gene Lamont was fired after that start and replaced by Terry Bevington. The Sox would go 57-56 under Bevington, finishing the season 68-76.
Jason Bere, who had been magnificent in the previous two seasons, going 24-7 with a 3.64 ERA, was a big part of the problem. He was supposed to be the guy who helped offset the loss of Jack McDowell.
Instead he made 27 starts and went 8-15 with a 7.19 ERA.
His entire season was horrible, but for three starts from July 30 to August 20 it was even worse. Worse than what James Shields has done.
July 30 vs. Baltimore: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 1 K, 6 BB
August 4 at Cleveland: 2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 1 K, 3 BB
August 20 vs. Texas: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 0 K, 3 BB
Total: 5 IP, 16 H, 20 ER, 2 K, 12 BB
That was good for an ERA of an even 36.00 over those three starts, and the most amazing part of it all was, that he allowed only one home run during the three games. The runs were mostly all due to walks and base hits, one after the other after the other.
So, take solace in knowing that you haven't had the worst three starts in White Sox history, James Shields. Maybe that's what you need to know in order to get your shit together.
You're not free from total infamy just yet, though.
While you may be one of six pitchers in franchise history to allow six earned runs or more while lasting five innings or less in three consecutive starts, nobody has done it in four straight.
So I guess you have a chance to make history next time out.
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