Royals’ Yost says he hasn’t lost confidence in Big Game James

James Shields pledges that he'll be ready after tweaking some of his mechanics following his previous start.

David J. Phillip/AP

SAN FRANCISCO — There certainly is angst in Royals Nation about right-hander James Shields and his postseason ERA, which has ballooned to 7.11.

But there is one person not that concerned at all — Royals manager Ned Yost.

And why is that?

"Because I’ve seen him pitch for 65 starts or so," Yost said. "I know what type of pitcher he is. And I’ve got confidence in everybody on my staff.

"You know, we talked about Alex Gordon going 0 for 15. Did I lose confidence in Alex because he was 0 for 15? Absolutely not. Stepped up and got a big hit for us (Friday night). 

"It’s the same thing with James Shields. I know his intensity. I know his work ethic. I know his competitiveness. I know that as much as a lot of you guys think that these guys are light’s out, perfect every time they go out there, they’re not. They’re human beings. They make adjustments and they have good games and they have bad games.

"But I know when he steps on that mound (Sunday), he’s going to be ready both physically and mentally to compete and give us his best effort, and that’s all I can ask."

Shields, too, pledges that he’ll be ready after tweaking some of his mechanics after his previous start.

"Obviously, the last couple starts is not the way I wanted to end up," Shields said. "But sometimes those things happen, and unfortunately, it’s right now. But me and (pitching coach) Dave (Eiland) had a really good bullpen session this last round. You know, I was just kind of rushing to the plate. The ball was getting flat because I was really flying open. Really just not getting the job done, bottom line."

Part of the issue, too, Shields said, was that he was a little too pumped up for his last start.

"I’ve been on this stage before, and I know exactly what to feel like when I’m out there," he said. "And I think this time around I’m not going to be as amped up and I will just try to keep my emotions in check."

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