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