Quote of the Weekend 

Nice win today (Sunday), especially the way the bullpen bounced back after two horrendous games. But all you need to know about the fate of the Giants hangs in the balance of this quote from Jason Schmidt after his dreadful start yesterday:

"I've had my fastball since I was 16," Schmidt said. "I know other ways to get guys out, but it's just like I'm playing long-toss right now. Maybe I'm paying for what happened last year," when he threw 3,608 pitches in 225 innings.

"Whenever I really try to throw it up there, it's just everything I can do to get it to home plate. Nobody is more frustrated than I am. We had an uplifting hit by Moises. That was huge. The next inning was big. I tried to shut them down, but physically I'm not able to do it. I don't know what it is. The arm is fine, but physically, there's nothing in it. I can't throw strikes. I'm just waiting for one game when it clicks."

Schmidt has had a wonderful run of three and a half years since he first put on a Giants uniform in mid-2001. Is this the end of the chapter? He has a surgically reconstructed elbow and has had nagging injuries during his Giants tenure. He's been a workhorse, and as he himself admits, the innings and pitch counts may have taken a toll.

If there's no deeper damage, but he never regains his 95 MPH-plus fastball, instead topping out at 91-92 as has been the case, Schmidt could still be an effective pitcher. But there will be an adjustment period determines whether he becomes just another 33-year-old ex-power hurler, or a 38-year-old major league veteran.

Blueprint: Pedro Martinez. I haven't seen him pitch this year, but the past couple years with the Sox Pedro would save the mid-90s fastball for a few key spots.

Tip of the cap to Woody Rueter, who has spun four straight solid starts just when it seemed the pitching staff was ready to implode.

Final note: I thought the Jeremy Accardo move was kind of cool. Unless the Giants lose the division by one game.


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