Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Schumaker powers victory over Cardinals
By Arash Markazi
ST. LOUIS -- After the Los Angeles Dodgers' 15-game road winning streak came to an end on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw stood in the visitor's clubhouse at Busch Stadium and simply shrugged his shoulders when asked what the end of the streak meant.
"It just means we need to start a new one tomorrow," he said.
The Dodgers did just that Wednesday night, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 13-4, powered by a six-run second inning. The onslaught came on the heels of Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller getting knocked out of the game after he was struck by Carl Crawford's liner on his right elbow after throwing his second pitch of the game.
Jerry Hairston Jr. got things rolling with a bases-loaded single to left that scored Tim Federowicz and Dee Gordon. Skip Schumaker closed out the inning with a single to left that scored Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.
Schumaker singled to center again in the seventh inning to score Andre Ethier and would score later in the inning on a Gordon single to right. He put the finishing touches on the blowout with an RBI single to left to score Ethier. Schumaker finished the night going 3-for-6 with four RBIs and one run.
The series against the Cardinals has been a homecoming of sorts for Schumaker, who is still a fan favorite in St. Louis after being on the Cardinals' World Series championship teams in 2006 and 2011 before being traded to the Dodgers last December.
He was given a loud ovation before his first at-bat and was constantly shaking hands with employees and fans around Busch Stadium before the game.
"I'm happy that someone else wanted me and [Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak] gave me an opportunity to go somewhere they needed me," Schumaker said. "It was a good situation for me. I've had more playing time here than most likely I would have gotten over there just because their lineup is so heavy and deep."
Schumaker came to the Dodgers shortly after Mark McGwire was hired as the hitting coach. McGwire was the Cardinals' hitting coach the previous three seasons and highly recommended him to the Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
"We looked at him as a little bit of a platoon guy at second base with Mark Ellis," Mattingly said. "He hits .300 lifetime against righties and we also thought he could play center field. That's his natural position. So if something happened to Matt [Kemp], I don't think we all agreed that Andre could play center, so we had Skip who could play any of the outfield spots and was able to platoon at second base a bit."
In addition to second base and center field, Schumaker has also appeared at left field, right field and designated hitter for the Dodgers and has even pitched a couple innings.
Schumaker won't steal many headlines this season, but he's exactly the kind of player Mattingly had in mind when he was envisioning this season's roster.
"You want guys that are good teammates and are fitting into their roles," Mattingly said. "You don't want to have 24 guys who all think they should be starters. It puts you in a tough spot. It's good to have great players sitting on the bench, but if they're not playing and not happy and they're disgruntled, your team gets messed up."