Looking every day as old as his 38 years, Curt Schilling was pulled in the sixth inning after surrendering his third homerun of the night. He finished the night without recording an out in the sixth, giving up 10 hits and 6 earned runs, and looking worse than he has all year.
Tonight’s struggle should not come as a surprise considering the season Schilling has had. On May 8th he pitched his first complete game with the Red Sox. It was a 9-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals. His next start was a struggle against Toronto where he gave up 8 hits and 3 earned runs in just 5 innings and getting charged with the loss.
Schilling’s second complete game was against the Braves on July 3rd. This game was also a no-doubter, a 6-1 win. In his next start he got a no decision against Oakland going just 5-and-a-third and giving up 11 hits and 3 earned runs.
In his last outing, Schilling pitched his third complete game of the season against the same Devil Rays. In the win on August 3rd, the Sox led 5-1 after 6 innings.
These numbers beg the question – why leave him in? If he’s pitching a one or two run game after 8, OK, let him finish what he started. But where is the logic in letting a 38 year-old pitch a complete game for the sake of a statistic, with leads of 8 runs, 5 runs and 4 runs, when the numbers show it will mean a tough outing 5 days later?