Skip Schumaker merely a fourth outfielder in World Series

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Skip Schumaker started two games at second base in the Cardinals’ NLDS defeat of the Phillies, going 6-for-10 in that five-game series.

But Schumaker missed the NLCS due to an oblique strain and is on the bench for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night in St. Louis.

According to beat writer Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the media on Wednesday at Busch Stadium that Schumaker is being viewed as more of a fourth outfielder than a second baseman in this seven-game Fall Classic against the Rangers.

He’ll fill the role left vacant by Adron Chambers, who was left off the Cardinals’ World Series roster.

Nick Punto is St. Louis’ best defensive option at second base. And if La Russa wants to switch things up, he’s likely to try Ryan Theriot next. Schumaker, despite his quick recovery, will strictly be a bench guy.

Of course, La Russa could always change his mind mid-series, rendering this entire post moot.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.