James Shields took the mound Sunday with two more the more interesting stat lines you’ll find this season — a 7-0 record with a 3.59 ERA. The undefeated mark and high ERA of course provide further evidence for supporters of a pitcher’s record and ERA being poor measurables.
Given the success Mike Bolsinger has had for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the pitchers’ duel at Petco Park Sunday afternoon was not much of a surprise. Bolsinger breezed his way through the game up until the fifth inning when Shields’ base hit started a two-out rally that led to a 2-0 Padres’ lead.
The Dodgers battled back however, cutting their deficit in half on a seventh-inning Andre Ethier solo home run that came off Shields. It was the lone run he allowed in seven innings, during which he racked up six strikeouts.
After tying the game in the eighth, the Dodgers were saved by Joc Pederson’s running catch in the ninth that robbed Justin Upton of a walk-off hit and series win for the Padres.
While Pederson’s catch generated plenty of buzz on social media and in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, Shields wasn’t interested in discussing it, according to Matt Calkins of The San Diego Union Tribune:
But Shields’ frustration became even more evident when a question about Pederson’s game-saving grab came up, to which the Padres’ ace replied “I don’t really care about him.”
Sunday’s loss was the second time in the series the Padres blew a late lead. Their lone win came on Upton’s solo home run in the eighth inning on Saturday that broke a 2-2 tie. Shields’ other postgame remarks certainly indicate a noticeable level of frustration in coming up short.
The Dodgers have won all four of the three-game series against the Padres, good for an 8-4 head-to-head record. The two teams don’t meet again until Sept. 3 at Petco Park for the start of a four-game set.