Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling left the team and went back to Boston today to meet with Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill and have a precautionary MRI on his right (pitching) shoulder.
Chipper Jones, Atlanta's All-Star third baseman, wondered last night -- along with a veteran scout who said that was "the worst I've ever seen him throw" -- whether the 40-year-old Red Sox pitcher is injured.
"I think we all expected to see 92, 93 [miles per hour] when he gets in trouble, or even hike it up to 94, 95," Jones said after Schilling was carried out on his shield following a 9-4 beating in which he allowed the Braves six runs on 10 hits in just 4 1/3 innings and failed to strike out a batter for the first time in 14 years (348 starts).
Jones said Schilling, who departed after giving up a three-run home run to catcher Brian McCann, had less velocity than the scouting reports led the Braves to expect. It's no secret, of course, that Schilling doesn't have the fastball of his youth, but in his dotage he had shown the capacity to summon it when most needed.
"The fastball that I saw register the highest was 89, and that was with the bases loaded," Jones said. "Schill always had that innate ability to catch another gear when he needs it, and for me to only see 89 miles an hour tells me, you know, he might be hurt. I don't know."
Schilling didn't explicitly dismiss that suggestion. Asked about his health, he said, "Like I said, it's not any one thing. I struggled, at least the last two starts, it's terrible. I'm better than that. It's frustrating."
(Editor's note -- NESN's Tom Caron provided the following additional information in his blog:)
A Red Sox official told us there were concerns over the lack of velocity in Schilling's performance last night. According to the NESN radar gun, Schilling never hit 90 mph over his 81 pitches last night.
The Red Sox confirmed that he would be undergoing a precautionary MRI and there was no word yet on whether or not he would miss his next start, scheduled for Sunday against Jake Peavy and the San Diego Padres.