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Big Game James, Huh? Not So Much

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 21: James Shields #33 of the Kansas City Royals watches single hit by Gregor Blanco #7 of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of Game One of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 21, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    One of the big moves the Kansas City Royals have made in recent years to help build what they finally became this season was when they acquired starting pitcher James Shields from Tampa Bay. Shields comes with the moniker "Big Game James," but on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series, he was anything but up for it.

    Shields lasted just three innings and allowed five earned runs on seven hits, including a big two-run homer by Hunter Pence in the first inning, and by the time Giants starter Madison Bumgarner took the mound, he had a 3-0 lead.

    Bumgarner, on the contrary, is a stellar big-game pitcher and saw his 20-plus inning scoreless streak in World Series games end in the seventh inning as the Giants rolled to a 7-1 win in the World Series opener.

    He entered Tuesday night's start with a 5.19 ERA in nine career postseason starts, but was 1-0 in World Series games dating back to his 2008 appearance with the Rays against the Phillies.

    Shields is a free agent after this season and has been talked about as a possible target for the Texas Rangers, who are looking to upgrade their pitching staff. He's definitely a good pitcher, but to call him a big-game star is a huge mistake, although it's still easy to say he'd upgrade the Rangers' staff as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter simply because of his ability to eat up innings.