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Wocka Freaking Wocka

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This is now past the realm of armchair manager and second guessing. This is unbelievable:

"(Jason Schmidt) can't find his release point, and it could be fatigue," said the manager (Felipe Alou). "He has thrown a lot of pitches and he threw a lot [92 pitches over only 3 2/3 innings Saturday]. He's worked a lot."

Schmidt has had a 131-pitch outing already this year.

"In the opening game, he beat the Dodgers, but he still didn't have his overpowering stuff," said Alou. "In Spring Training, I didn't see his high fastball or explosiveness." (From: Sfgiants.com)

I have sat at a computer for an hour, staring at a blinking cursor, trying to think of a funny comment. I give up. Alou hasn't seen the "explosiveness" from Schmidt. This is hardly quantum physics; no one saw it. Then why, why, why, why, would you let Schmidt blow past 100 pitches in every single start, especially in the games where he was obviously suffering from some form of fatigue? Why, with a left-hander warm in the bullpen, do you let Schmidt face Ryan Klesko, after already throwing 130 pitches, and after Schmidt had just walked the previous hitter on five pitches? And, even if you are daft enough to do so, why would you let a similar scenario ensare you the very next start, when you have a multiple-run lead and a rested bullpen?

These points are just being rehashed, sure, but read the above quote again. "It could be fatigue." Alou's thought process had to have come close to this:

Jason Schmidt doesn't look so fresh.

Maybe he just needs to stretch his arm out.

Shoot, that didn't work. Maybe he needs to stretch his arm out more the next start.

Hmm. Still not throwing like we're used to. Maybe he needs to throw more his next start.

Heck, that's a no go, he's still giving up runs. Maybe he needs to stretch his arm out more his next start.

The velocity and control are still not there. Maybe he needs to throw more his next start.

Wow, he couldn't even make it through the fourth inning. Maybe the lack of velocity and command means he's tired.

Alou talks with coaches, who talk with trainers, who work very closely with Schmidt, and they all have a combined 5,000,000 years of baseball experience, so there is a small urge to defer to experience here. But at no point was Schmidt's heavy workload related to something unique, like a tired bullpen, or the chase of a no-hitter. The heavy workload was useless. Schmidt was obviously struggling with his velocity, struggling with his command, and throwing a ton of pitches. He's coming off a season which ended poorly after an incredible start, with a groin injury catching a lot of the blame. Now, after never really regaining the form he lost last August, he might be tired. It could be fatigue.

When Schmidt came off the disabled list in 2004 after an elbow surgery, he had three starts in April. In those starts, he threw under 100 pitches. Since then, he has thrown less than 100 pitches twice, with the latest time being this Saturday's debacle. In the middle of this stretch was a groin injury, and the stretch, again, started just a couple of months after offseason elbow surgery. His velocity is down, in case you haven't heard, and his control is slipping. It could be fatigue.

There's just nothing funny about that. I tried.