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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Villains' Villain
2003-06-20 08:30
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Jason Schmidt is the real deal. Backed by 80 years of home-run hitter in Benito Santiago and Andres Galarraga, Schmidt had the Dodgers fruitlessly waving at pitches like they were the gnats that plagued Chavez Ravine this week, striking out 11 in a 2-0 victory on Thursday.

Picking who has pitched the best game against baseball's worst offense is one competitive beauty contest, but I'm going to try.

As a shortcut to guide me, I'm going to use Game Scores. Here's the definition, from ESPN.com:

Start with 50 points.
Add 1 point for each out recorded (3 points per inning).
Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th.
Add 1 point for each strikeout.
Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
Subtract 1 point for each walk.

Schmidt had a game score of 90 on Thursday, which you'll see is pretty damn great. In fact, Schmidt appears twice on the list. Here are the top 10 performers:

90 Jason Schmidt, San Francisco, 6/19 (9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K)
84 Shawn Chacon, Colorado, 5/28 (8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)*
81 Brett Myers, Philadelphia, 4/28 (7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4K)
80 Bartolo Colon, Chicago White Sox, 6/7 (9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K)
76 Brian Lawrence, San Diego, 4/5 (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K)*
71 Russ Ortiz, Atlanta, 5/13 (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K)
70 Kurt Ainsworth, San Francisco, 4/10 (8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K)*
70 Jason Schmidt, San Francisco, 4/18 (7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 8 K)
67 Jake Peavy, San Diego, 4/3 (5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 11 K)*
67 Chris Reitsma, Cincinnati, 4/23 (8 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K)*

* Dodger road game

Schmidt looks like the man, doesn't he. Overall this season, Schmidt is 2-0 with a 2.02 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers, striking out 25 in 22 1/3 innings.

After last night, I'm all but ready to appoint Schmidt the villain's villain for 2003 to date. But let me ask you this. Take another look at Shawn Chacon's performance, and consider that it was executed in Coors Field. Is that not perhaps the biggest piece of resistance the Dodgers have faced this year?

It's too bad that Chacon's game was a 6-0 blowout, otherwise he might have gone nine innings and we would have had an even better comparsion. Still, given the different park factors, I'm going to go with Chacon.

For good measure, here are the top Game Scores from the Justice League of America, otherwise known as the Dodger pitching staff:

87 Hideo Nomo, at Milwaukee, 5/24 (9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K)
85 Hideo Nomo, at Arizona, 3/31 (9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)
80 Odalis Perez, vs. Philadelphia, 4/30 (8 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K)
78 Odalis Perez, vs. Florida, 5/17 (8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K)
77 Kevin Brown, at Milwaukee, 5/25 (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K)
76 Kevin Brown, vs. Milwaukee, 5/31 (8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K)
76 Hideo Nomo, at Cleveland, 6/15 (7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K)
73 Kevin Brown, vs. Colorado, 5/20 (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K)
73 Kazuhisa Ishii, vs. San Diego, 4/16 (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
72 Kevin Brown, vs. Pittsburgh, 5/4 (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K)
72 Kazuhisa Ishii, at Detroit, 6/12 (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 BB, 8 K)
70 Kevin Brown, at Cincinnati, 4/24 (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 11 K)
70 Kevin Brown, vs. Philadelphia, 4/29 (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K)
69 Kevin Brown, at Arizona, 4/2 (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
69 Darren Dreifort, vs. Florida, 5/16 (8 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K)

The Dodgers have broken the 70 barrier 13 times - Brown alone has done it six times, compared to eight total by all Dodger opponents.

But the system, which puts a premium on innings, has rewarded Nomo for his two shutouts by making him - for a single game - the heroes' hero.

Update: Just found the top game scores in MLB on ESPN. Schmidt is on the list three times in the National League top 10, but his best game was not even against the Dodgers - he also posted a 91 against Chicago on April 30. Curt Schilling is No. 1 with a 96 - a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts. Nomo's 87 is tied with Schmidt's third-best game for ninth in the NL. (Please note that even though ESPN has the year wrong, it is up to date for 2003.)

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