Fear the beard, Cubs fans. No, seriously, if you see a guy with the beard warming up in the pen, you need to just clench up, hold your breath, and hope the storm passes quickly.
@DEvanAltman Words I hate to hear: “Schlitter up in the bullpen.” Words I hate more: ” Call to the pen.”
— Michael Saken (@sakenlaw) April 22, 2015
It didn’t help matters that we already had to deal with Cowboy Joe West making up calls (Almost hit you in the foot? strike.) behind the plate. Keep in mind that on a controversial out call on Kris Bryant’s slide at home, Joe Maddon appeared to be coming out of the dugout before the call had even been made. It was as though he knew West would be wrong before West himself knew to make the wrong call.
But what Joe West is to umpiring, Brian Schlitter is to pitching. Watching either man work is like know something bad is going to happen and then being forced to see your nightmare unfolding in all its technicolor glory before you eyes. By giving up 2 runs on 3 hits over only 2/3 of an inning, Schlitter inflated his ERA to 9.64 and his WHIP to a frightening 2.36.
If Stephen King wrote about baseball stats, it’d look something like this:
Since the 2nd half of last year, Schlitter has allowed 32 hits and 15 earned runs in 18 innings. 11 walks, 11 strikeouts.
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 22, 2015
Phil Coke cleaned things up, but the Cubs had already surrendered the lead. Then Jason Motte came on for the 7th and gave up 3 runs on 2 hits. Wait, something about this sounds oddly familiar. Oh yeah, that’s because I wrote about pretty much the same thing on Sunday. I understand that options are somewhat limited at this point, but I am getting a little worried about Maddon’s bullpen management.
Don’t think I’m familiar enough with the situation to make such judgments? Well I am familiar with the fact that Joe Maddon is going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and BITES HIM ON THE ASS.
The Cubs were able to pull this one out on the strength of some offensive heroics, but if they want to keep winning games they’re going to need a bigger boat. Or to just not ever let Schlitter pitch again unless they’ve got an insurmountable lead.
Then again, it was pretty flippin’ great to see them rough up Mark Melancon in the 9th, so I guess there’s that. Maybe Schlitter’s like a double agent, working for the good of both the business and baseball sides. I mean, Crane Kenney’s involvement would explain the continued use of an ineffective asset.
Listen, this is not the time or the place to perform some sort of half ass autopsy on a pitcher. I’m sure you’re not going to stand here and see that thing cut open, and see that little Schlitter boy spill out all over the blog. But I’m not talkin’ about pleasure boatin’ or daily sailin’, I’m talkin’ about workin’ for a livin’, I’m talking about pitchin’! And on a night when all the talk had been about Addison Russell, Schlitter almost ate the light.
I wish the young man the best in his future endeavors, but I’m ready to bid farewell and adieu to Brian Schlitter. The fair Spanish ladies, however, are more than welcome to stay.