Shields takes pride in surpassing 200 innings

Shields takes pride in surpassing 200 innings

ARLINGTON -- James Shields surpassed the 200 innings mark for the fifth consecutive season when he pitched his 10th complete game of the season Friday night against the Blue Jays, giving him 201 for the season.

"I want to try and get to 240 [innings]," Shields said. "I think 240 is realistic. I'd definitely be happy with 240. One of my goals was to hit 220 innings."

In 2009, Shields came close to reaching 220 frames when he pitched 219 2/3 innings.

"I was one out away from doing it," Shields said.

Shields' goal is to reach 200 innings every season.

"[Reaching 200 innings] is real important," Shields said. "I believe a lot of pitchers pride themselves on staying healthy and being an innings eater. I know strikeouts are big and wins are huge, but I know staying healthy and going deep into the games is a big thing for a starter."

Shields noted that pitching complete games "is something you can't really set a goal for doing every year."

"If you want to be realistic about it, the 10 complete games, that's phenomenal, that's unbelievable," Shields said. "[But] what I'm most proud about is staying healthy all season long and throwing 200 innings. That's something I've prided myself on ever since I had surgery in 2002. I never want to go back to that place again where I'm hurt and having surgery."

Shields said he always sets out to outdo himself every year in some way.

"Last year was a down year for me -- I had 203 1/3," Shields said. "I really don't want to cut it that close. I wanted more quality starts this year."

When asked about several keys to his success this season, Shields pointed to his curveball.

"I know I'm throwing a lot of them for strikes when I want to," Shields said. "Obviously I've been locating my fastball better this year. With my fastball down in the zone, I can work my other pitches off of that."