Royals' pitcher James Shields has had a tough couple of weeks to say the least. Two Sundays ago he suffered back pain and waves of nausea while the Royals progressed through to their first appearance in the World Series since 1985.
But Shields wasn't able to enjoy the Kansas City Royals big win in the American League Championship, with the Royals opting for Jason Vargas. And it's a good job they did, with recent news revealing that Shields will play in the World Series despite passing a kidney stone.
It was a good job the Royals snubbed Shields, with the pitcher undergoing a CT scan to determine the source of his back pain discomfort before his diagnosis was revealed. By then, it was concluded that he had already passed the stone, with Shields admitting that the whole process was excruciating.
“It was excruciating pain,” Shields told the Kansas City Star. “I wasn’t feeling good.”
Blessing in disguise
The decision by the Royals turned out to be a great one as Vargas swept the Baltimore Orioles, with Shields admitting that he has benefitted from having 11 days off before he goes head to head with Madison Bumgarner.
“I probably could have used the extra day (of rest),” Shields added. “But I just told them ‘Whenever you need me, I’m ready to go.’”
Focused on improving
After going through such an ordeal you would forgive Shields for wanting a little time to get back in the swing of things. But this is the World Series we're talking about, and the star pitcher knows he has to improve his current October form.
“I’m a big believer in amnesia. I haven’t pitched the way that I’ve wanted to,” Shields said.
“There’s no doubt about it. I feel like I could pitch better. But that said, I’ve felt really good. My bullpen sessions have been really good. I feel as good as I can feel right now."