Shields won't throw out welcome mat for Myers

Updated: October 22, 2008

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The home/road splits heavily favor James Shields, left, over Brett Myers in Thursday's Game 2.

WHO'LL HAVE THE RIGHT STUFF?

WORLD SERIES GAME 2

Phillies at Rays
8 p.m. ET, ESPN Radio
World Series page
The pitching matchup switches from a lefty matchup in the World Series opener, one that eventually favored Philadelphia, to a showdown of right-handers for Game 2, with the Rays' James Shields facing the Phillies' Brett Myers.

Shields should be in his comfort zone, pitching in Tropicana Field, though the areas in which he was successful during the regular season (good control, limiting of both hits and home runs) have not matched with his postseason performance.

Myers is definitely out of his comfort zone pitching on the road. This will be his first career postseason start on the road and his first start at Tropicana Field.

James Shields: 2008 Season at Home
  Regular season Postseason
W-L 9-2 1-2
BB per 9 1.6 2.8
HR per 9 0.7 1.4
Opp BA .234 .284

Brett Myers: Home vs. Road (regular season)
  Home Road
W-L 7-5 3-8
ERA 3.01 6.21
Opp BA .232 .301
K per 9 8.8 6.6

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: Oct. 21 | Oct. 19 | Oct. 18 | Oct. 17 | Oct. 15 | Oct. 14

POTENTIAL TROUBLE AT THE TROP

A lot has been made of the noise at Tropicana Field. And it could have an impact on the Series. As a hitter you want it to be as noisy as possible because you actually hear it less. Instead of hearing individuals yelling things out, it fades away to mumbles and static and all that's left is you and the pitcher. It's wonderful. The problem with all that noise is in the field. A lot of people talk about how noisy the Metrodome can get, but the Trop is louder when it's full, mostly due to the concrete construction and design of the building.

JIM CAPLE: MORE ON TROPICANA FIELD

As an outfielder you have to communicate with teammates at times and you cannot afford to take your eye off the ball. Also, the warning track is the same material as the outfield. It's just painted a different color so you can't feel how close you are to the wall when you are running back on the ball. Plus, the lights are right in your eyes at the Trop. It's definitely the toughest place to play outfield in all of Major League Baseball.

I remember my first experience playing the outfield there in 2005. Lou Piniella put me out in left field, and in the first inning Reed Johnson hits a fly ball right at me. And all I can think is, "Oh no … oh no." I started calling to Carl Crawford who was playing center field at that time. I'm yelling, "CC! CC!" and next thing you know after the third "CC" the ball drops right next to me and rolls to the wall for a triple. Well, that was the last time I played left field at the Trop. So I really believe the Phillies will be at a disadvantage; specifically, Pat Burrell could struggle in left field. You can be a good outfielder and still lose the ball there. But if you are not a good outfielder, it's that much tougher.

Another thing about the Trop that I haven't heard mentioned much is that visiting hitters can have trouble getting adjusted to the lights, too. Teams like Boston and New York that play there regularly adjust faster, but teams new to the park usually can't see the seams that well. By the time they do, it's the third game of a series. Well, the third game of this series will be in Philadelphia. So we're going to see what kind of home-field advantage Tampa Bay has, even though the Rays have already lost Game 1.


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BBTN MINUTE: WORLD SERIES GAME 2 PREVIEW

STAT OF THE DAY

Inside Edge Rays starter James Shields gave up nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in his last start (Game 6 of the ALCS). He suffered the loss, but still managed to keep things close because he held the Red Sox hitless with runners in scoring position.

Pitching well with RISP has been the norm for Shields over the past two months, while opposing Game 2 starter Brett Myers has performed much better in less-critical situations:

Opposing batting average since September
Situation Shields Myers
RISP .143 .314
No RISP .277 .215

JOHN KRUK: LIDGE REMAINS DOMINANT

WORLD SERIES NEWS AND NOTES

• Rain in Philadelphia's forecast this weekend could alter the World Series schedule -- and pitching plans for both teams. Game 3 between the Tampa Bay Rays and Phillies is slated for Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, but there is a 70 percent chance of rain in Philadelphia that day, according to weather.com. More

•  Even before Tropicana Field hosted its first World Series game, Major League Baseball insisted the Tampa Bay Rays must get a new stadium. "I think they need a new ballpark here. Absolutely," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer. Tropicana Field opened in 1990 and already was outmoded when the baseball team moved in eight years later. More

THIS DATE IN POSTSEASON HISTORY: OCT. 23

1993: Joe Carter becomes the second player ever to end a World Series with a home run when he hits a three-run shot off Mitch Williams to beat the Phillies, 8-6, in Game 6 as Toronto wins its second consecutive championship.

1996: The Yankees, who lost the first two games of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, beat the Braves, 5-2, behind the standout pitching of David Cone (one run, four hits in six innings) to begin a string of 14 consecutive World Series victories.

2005: Scott Podsednik, who hit zero home runs in 507 regular-season at-bats, hits a walk-off home run off Brad Lidge to beat the Astros, 7-6, in Game 2 of the World Series at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field. It was the 14th walk-off home run in World Series history.

2006: Kenny Rogers blanks the Cardinals over eight innings and extends his scoreless streak to 24 1/3 postseason innings as the Tigers win Game 2, 3-1, to even the series. During the game, TV cameras spot an unknown dark spot on his pitching hand in the first inning, which Rogers later claims is only mud.