James Shields’ performance Tuesday was a perfect microcosm of the Tampa Bay Rays’ season.
He pitched incredibly well — striking out 15, allowing two hits and walking none in a complete game — and lost. The Baltimore Orioles pulled out a 1-0 win over the Rays.
“The crime of the year,” manager Joe Maddon said.
“It honestly breaks your heart,” catcher Chris Gimenez said.
Shields took it as well as he could, calling it “probably the best game of my career right there. … I knew this was my last game, and I wanted to let it all hang out.
“I wanted to end on a good note, end on a bang.”
The only run of the night came on Chris Davis’ fourth-inning homer. Tampa Bay managed just three hits against four Baltimore pitchers.
Shields has a $10.25 million option for next season that the Rays are sure to pick up, but there’s no guarantee they won’t trade him. The 30-year-old right-hander said he wants to stay with the Rays and hopes to be back.