Looks like Jason Schmidt is going to retire. For many Giants fans, Schmidt was purged from the history books when he signed with the Dodgers after the 2006 season.
Then he really disappeared: A total of 10 games in three years with L.A. thanks to a series of injuries that were about as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise. Dodger fans never had a chance to gloat.
From my memory Schmidt was a diminished pitcher and often injured in his last couple years with S.F. I'm surprised, then, to see that he made 29 and 32 starts in those years, '05 and '06. What I'm remembering, I guess, is that he wasn't nearly the monster he was in '02, '03 and '04, when he registered FIPs of 3.11, 2.64, and 2.92. (FIP is like ERA, but taking out all the things a pitcher can't control. If you think FIP is weird and nerdy, just ask new AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke about it.)
Schmidt was awesome. Check this: In his career year, 2003, he threw 76% fastballs and 14% changeups. He was basically a two-pitch pitcher. That remained the case the next two years, but the ratio of changeups rose. He refined it -- or if you saw him throw it on this night, you'd say he perfected it.
The best changeup I've seen since then is from the guy who might win the NL Cy Young tomorrow, and whose use of the pitch continues to rise.
Jason Schmidt. Tim Lincecum. Best Giant pitchers of the decade. And the nod goes to....(envelope please)...