Padres 7, Dodgers 2

Jason Schmidt’s third-inning exit was his earliest since May 4, 2002, against Cincinnati, when he left with tightness in his right shoulder after just two-thirds of an inning. Not to keep harping on this velocity thing, but it clearly is becoming a problem — something Grady Little and Rick Honeycutt admitted after the game, even though Schmidt wouldn’t. The Padres attacked Schmidt like they knew what was coming (that’s what advance scouting reports are for), with Brian Giles and Kevin Kouzmanoff homering on first-pitch fastballs in the first two innings. Schmidt hasn’t told Little or Honeycutt that he isn’t healthy, and unless and until he does, they have to assume that he IS healthy. But for a guy at whom the Dodgers threw a three-year, $47 million contract, somebody needs to get to the bottom of why his fastball is topping out in the 86-87 range, and it needs to happen soon. Schmidt’s next scheduled start is Thursday at Colorado, in a ballpark that tends to eat guys for lunch who have slow fastballs that they don’t locate well. But unless something just suddenly changes miraculously his next time out, this problem is going to continue to fester.

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