Oct. 4 James Shields Workout Day Interview

Q. Going into a start like this, do you spend a lot of time looking back at how you pitched on Tuesday, or do you kind of just focus on kind of the matchups and scouting with the Angels?

JAMES SHIELDS:  Just more the matchups and scouting with the Angels. There's not really too much I want to change right now in my delivery and my mechanics. I feel really good with ‑‑  I was pounding the strike zone last game as much as I could, and it was king of one of those games where it was pretty intense, man. The crowd was electric and all that good stuff. That's the main thing I've really got to focus on is just staying within myself just because of the crowd.

 

Q.  You were throwing, I think, like 95 in the first inning on Tuesday. Is that maybe a little evidence of being slightly more amped up than usual?

JAMES SHIELDS:  I think the guns are juiced over here. No, just kidding. I don't know, I guess so. You know, I guess so. I feel really good right now. My body feels good. You know, that was kind of a do‑or‑die game, and I was putting every effort I had into it. But that's playoff baseball.

 

Q.  Do you approach this one differently since it's not technically a do‑or‑die game?

JAMES SHIELDS:  No, I approach pretty much every game like that. Even during the season I feel like I put everything into every pitch. I think that's what I need to do this game. Obviously we're up 2‑0, but you've got to think about the team that we're facing. I mean, they're a pretty dangerous team. Just because we're 2‑0 doesn't mean we have to stay lackadaisical. We've got to keep grinding.

 

Q. Do you expect the crowd to be more jacked up than they were last week?

JAMES SHIELDS:  I think so. We came off Monday Night Football, so I think we were pretty pumped up the next day. This crowd has been wanting this for a long time. It's exciting times in Kansas City and it's an exciting time for this organization.

 

Q.  You pitched in the postseason; how did that kind of atmosphere rank with some of the other playoff atmospheres?

JAMES SHIELDS:  I mean, you know, obviously the World Series is pretty special, but that one was probably the best atmosphere I've ever been a part of.

 

Q.  The minute you walked in here in Kansas City, from when you got traded here until now, how much different mentally is this baseball team than when you came in?

JAMES SHIELDS:  You know, mentally I think we're a lot different. I think we've gained a lot of experience over the last couple years. Our second half last year was pretty good, and I think we've gained a lot of experience going into September last year. I think that carried on this year, and I think you kept these guys relaxed all season long and didn't put too much pressure on themselves. I think the experience factor is what this team has been missing for a long time.

 

Q.  What goes through your mind when you see a team that you know is as dangerous as the Angels are going through the struggles like they did in the first two games?

JAMES SHIELDS:  Well, it's our job to keep them that way. But yeah, I mean, nothing really goes through my mind because I know those hitters are dangerous over there. They have a couple of the best hitters in the game on that team. We can't take them too lightly. We've just got to play our game. As far as I'm concerned I've just got to go out there and pitch my game and be aggressive, attack these hitters and just be confident. I think we have as far as I'm concerned the best defense in the league so I'm going to go ahead and trust those guys out there and be aggressive.

 

Q.  How surprised are you that a kid like Finnegan can come in and show the command and the poise that he has shown?

JAMES SHIELDS:  I'm not too surprised just for the lone fact of I had a guy that came up in 2008 named David Price, and he was our closer. I mean, he came straight out of college, and he was our closer that year.

 

Q.  But it takes a special kind of makeup, wouldn't you think?

JAMES SHIELDS:  Yeah, there's definitely good ballplayers out there, and Finnegan has done a phenomenal job. Just to see how he pitches well beyond his years is basically what I would say, just the composure he has on the mound and the fire he has out there, and it definitely reminds me a lot of David Price when he came up. David always had that competitive attitude and never wanted too lose, and he's got that.

 

Q.  How shocked were you at the score yesterday at the Dodgers?

JAMES SHIELDS:  I mean, yeah, that's definitely shocking, but you know, it's playoff baseball. That's playoff baseball. Anything can happen. Between Wainwright and Kershaw, that's a pretty good matchup over there. You never really think of that, but that's playoff baseball. Sometimes it's going to happen.

 

Q.  Last night on TV they showed you on the top rung of the dugout with your rally cap on. Next time they showed the dugout, everybody had their rally cap on. Do you realize the impact that you make with this team even when you're not on the mound?

JAMES SHIELDS:  You know, I just try to be myself. I don't try to impact other players. I just try to be myself, and hopefully it's contagious. That's about it. I mean, I have fun with this game. I feel like I'm a grinder. I feel like I have a winning attitude, so hopefully it feeds off these guys, and we have fun with it. We're all little kids at heart, and I think a lot of guys are feeding off of it, and we're just having fun with it right now.