It was an unfamiliar scene at Great American Ballpark Thursday evening when the Cincinnati Reds took to the field in the ninth inning trailing 8-0 against the Atlanta Braves. Instead of seeing a familiar face coming out of the bullpen, Reds fans saw utility player Skip Schumaker ready himself on the pitching rubber.
Cincinnati was attempting to save the bullpen, especially after work they needed early on in the game as well as the week. The inning really didn't end up as bad as many may think. Schumaker threw a scoreless inning walking a batter.
"Whenever you're in the game as a position player pitching, it's the worst-possible scenario because you know you're getting your butt kicked," Schumaker said. "Whenever you're out there, you want to make it as quick as you can and get out of there and not try to make it a circus by walking everybody or, God forbid, hit somebody and hurt somebody."
"I would say when the highlight of your game is Skip Schumaker threw a scoreless inning, it says enough about the game in of itself," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It was like everything else he does, high intensity. He was invested. He didn't want to give up a run. A little bit of tight zone but we worked around it."
"We're trying everything," Schumaker said. "We tried to come in late. Stretch, not stretch, take BP at different times, have meetings, not have meetings, trying to mess around.
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