'Big Game' James? Um, not yet
I'm a big
That said, I have NO idea how he got this ridiculous "Big Game" James nickname. Big Game James was Lakers forward
Shields? I'm going to pull out my inner
So, I have to assume he picked up the nickname this year by pitching brilliantly in big games as the Rays shocked the world. I think, looking back, it's obvious where the concept began: Shields threw nine shutout innings against Boston in late April, a two-hitter. And I can see how a nickname can begin after a game like that. I can see all his teammates in the clubhouse patting him on the back and saying, "Yeah! Big Game James! Way to throw, Big Game!"
Thing is, everybody should probably forget it the next day. Think about this: You ask James Shields, "Hey, how did you get the nickname 'Big Game James' anyway?" If his response is, "You know, I threw a shutout against the Red Sox in April one year," that would probably not sound too convincing. This is especially true because the next time he faced the Red Sox he lasted exactly one inning and gave up four runs.
Did he pitch great games in big games? His best performances are as follows:
-- He threw a one-hitter against Anaheim on May 9. I guess that was a big game, sort of. May 9, though. Hey, every game counts the same, even if there is only one October.
-- He allowed one run in seven innings during a 15-3 victory at Florida in late June. Probably doesn't fit.
-- He threw eight shutout innings against a death-sprialing Yankees team on September 13 ... that legitimately was a big game, though probably not quite enough to write songs about.
So, that more or less is Big Game James' "Big Game" resume. He threw lots of GOOD games -- I've already said he's a good pitcher -- but the nickname isn't "Pretty Good Game James" or "Quality Start James" or "Will Keep You In The Game James." Big Game James evokes images of bloody socks and
And make no mistake: The nickname was already prominent -- certainly in the eyes of the TBS announcers -- when the playoffs began. Big Game James started Game 1 of the American League Division Series -- his first, legitimately, big game -- and he went 6 1/3 innings, gave up a three-run homer to
Shields then pitched Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and he pitched quite well -- 7 1/3 innings, two runs -- though he lost. The announcers must have called him "Big Game James" about 25 times during the game. Joe the Plumber didn't get that much nickname love.
Look, I do understand. The Rays are new money, like
And that takes me back to my Biden: I really do hope James Shields throws a