Before the Dodgers’ historic 16-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night, Manager Don Mattingly explained what he saw as the biggest change during the team’s season-best six-game win streak. Finally, the manager said, each of his players has been able to fit into his intended role, with the return of Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis.
Having said that, using Skip Schumaker as a pitcher probably wasn’t what Mattingly had in mind.
But with Peter Moylan, Matt Guerrier and Brandon League already used up — throwing a combined 94 pitchers (with minimal success) — Mattingly called on the utility player, who ultimately became the only Dodgers pitcher not to give up a run on the night.
“I was just trying to get out of the inning as soon as I could,” Schumaker said.
Schumaker turned in his second scoreless frame of the season, and the third inning pitched of his career. After rifling a 90-mph fastball in for a strike on his first pitch, he quickly retired Dominic Brown (fly-out to center) and Delmon Young (lineout to right), before getting ahead of John Mayberry 0-2. The second pitch was a 71-mph curveball too, that the Phillies outfielder swung over.
Then Schumaker ran into problems. He walked Mayberry on four straight pitches -- unintentionally throwing a fastball high and inside on one -- gave up a double to Ben Revere and walked Carlos Ruiz.
Ultimately, he struck out Humberto Quintero swinging to end the game with a scoreless ninth, but after the game he seemed to be thinking only about the pitch that got away against Mayberry.
“That’s the No. 1 thing I don’t want to do is throw up and in on anybody, get anybody hurt or even throw inside so I feel bad about it,” Schumaker said.
After throwing the pitch, Schumaker instinctively grasped both hands to his head and apologized to Mayberry.
“You should never throw up and in, I don’t care if it’s a position player or a pitcher,” Schumaker said.
Schumaker maintains his 0.00 ERA and has now pitched in as many games as Chad Billingsley this season.
Quipped Schumaker: “I have the full repetoire.”