In case you weren’t around to watch last night’s Dodger game, Skip Schumaker pitched last night. No it’s true. I promise you I am not joking. During last night’s pathetic 12-2 pounding from the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers used Schumaker to pitch the ninth inning. The goal was to save wear on bullpen arms during a blowout game. Not like it makes much difference anyways, the Dodger relievers pitch like they have torn arms every game.
That’s how bad things got for the Dodgers last night. Starter Ted Lilly could only make it through the third inning before being removed. At the time it was already 5-0 Colorado after three frames. Lilly allowed five runs on eight hits before being lifted after three frames, and complaining of back pain, again.
Josh Wall relieved for Lilly in the fourth inning, and picked up right where Lilly left off. Wall allowed seven runs on eight hits during his two atrocious innings. He was followed by scoreless innings from J.P. Howell, Matt Guerrier, and Paco Rodriguez. The Rockies scored 12 runs on 19 hits when the dust settled. And when it was 12-2 Colorado in the top of the ninth, Don Mattingly had to send out someone to the mound to get three more outs. That man was Skip Schumaker.
Schumaker had already started the game at second base. So he just moved from the keystone to the mound. It seemed like a seemless transition. It was almost like Skip was a natural pitcher.
Your mission Skip if you so choose to accept it, to pitch the top of the ninth. Hopefully not embarrass yourself, or the team. Come to think of it, he couldn’t embarrass himself anymore than the pitiful Dodger pitching staff has already in the month of April.
Schumaker actually isn’t half bad on the mound. You could say he’s better than half the current guys in the bullpen. Schumaker got into a bit of trouble, but was actually able to pitch a scoreless top of the ninth, leaving the bases loaded. That’s more than half the guys in the bullpen are able to do already. Maybe we should consider moving Schumaker into the bullpen? The Dodgers do need a long man.
Schumaker allowed two hits in the frame, but retired three batters to get out of the inning. Cargo singled up the middle. Ryan Wheeler flew out to left. The first out for Schumaker. Then Michael Cuddyer flew out to right field. It looked like it was going to be a very easy inning for Schumaker. Then Nolan Arenado singled, and Josh Rutledge walked to load up the bases. Schumaker then induced Jonathon Herrera to ground out to first, and he escapes the jam. The 50 Dodger fans still remaining at the Ravine should have given him a standing ovation.
Schumaker has an easy fluid pitching motion. He was throwing breaking balls, and his fastball actually got up to 90 MPH on the radar gun. As we all know, that’s faster than any pitch Ted Lilly has thrown in the last decade.
It’s something we’re not used to seeing from the bullpen. Scoreless frames, and stranding runners seems like a foreign concept to this mediocre pitching staff. Of course we remember two years ago when Schumaker pitched in a blowout game against the Dodgers, while he was playing with the Cardinals. He pitched an inning that time as well, and allowed a home run to Aaron Miles. I also found out that Schumaker actually pitched in high school. However there is no record of him ever pitching in the minors. Of course, Miles himself also pitched an inning in another game when he was playing with the Cardinals. This inspired a website to be created in honor of his pitching prowess called aaronmilesfastball.wordpress.com. Seriously. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. The last time a position player took the mound for the Dodgers was Mark Loretta back in 2009. Perhaps it should happen more often. Hey they couldn’t do any worse than the current bullpeners.
You want to see something incredible? Take a look at these numbers from the Dodger relievers.
Matt Guerrier-4.82 ERA five runs eight hits 6 walks allowed in 9.1 innings.
J.P. Howell-4.82 ERA five runs eight hits 6 walks allowed in 9.1 innings.
Paco Rodriguez-4.32 ERA four runs five hits allowed in 8.1 innings.
Josh Wall-18.00 ERA 14 runs 17 hits six walks allowed in 7 innings.
Skip Schumaker 0.00 ERA, two hits allowed in a scoreless inning of relief.
Yes those numbers are correct. As you can see, Schumaker has been a more effective reliever that half of the Dodger bullpen. That shows you how bad the Dodger pitching staff has been.
Perhaps the Dodgers should make a move? Hey if Kenley can go from catcher to pitcher, why couldn’t Schumaker go from utility guy to relief pitcher? Skip Schumaker leads the Dodgers with an ERA of 0.00