Ohlendorf exits early, Pujols belts # 399, Pirates lose 10-2
Ross Ohlendorf has got to be the most unluckiest pitcher this season.
- Ohlendorf had an early season month-long stint on the disabled list due to back spasms.
- During the first inning of his July 28 start he was struck in the head with a line drive.
- Ohly has had little run support despite posting a 2.35 ERA in his last 10 starts. He is 1-10 during that span.
After facing just two batters in last night’s start against the Cardinals, throwing just eight pitches Ohly was pulled from the game with shoulder tightness.
”It didn’t feel great, but I felt like I could pitch through it,” Ohlendorf said. “When I gained speed, it didn’t feel as good. It kind of got worse with each pitch.”
It wasn’t from throwing just one pitch though, after the game JR said that Ross felt a little stiffness warming up. His velocity was down as well. 88, 89, 87 was his fastball on the gun.
“We don’t know much,” Russell said. “He just said he felt it warming up a little bit, and he couldn’t get over it during the first couple hitters. He felt a little stiffness and thought it would loosen up and it never did.”
In reading Ohlendorf’s expression, however, there was a sense that he already fears the news.
“It’s sore,” Ohlendorf said. “I don’t really know what’s wrong yet. Hopefully it’s just muscle and not in the shoulder.”
“I feel so sad for Ross,” shortstop Ronny Cedeno said. “He works so hard, and he’s pitching so well. And nothing really is going his way.”
Ross has no history of shoulder problems. Shoulder issues generally are seen as more serious for pitchers than elbows. Ohlendorf will undergo an MRI on Tuesday morning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most recent pitcher in Major League Baseball history to have one or fewer wins, 11 or more losses and an ERA under 4.07 was the New York Mets’ poor Anthony Young Sept. 11, 1993, when he was 1-16 with a 3.77 ERA.
If Ohlendorf is placed on the DL, or needs to rest for a start or two, Charlie Morton would probally be the guy to be called up. In Morton’s 13 starts since being demoted, He is 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA.
Sean Gallagher re-placed Ohlendorf and inherited two Cardinals on base and Pujols at the plate in the first inning. He delivered a slider up over the heart of the plate and Pujols blasted it into the Pirates bullpen for a three-run home run, his career 399th.
“You have men on first and third early in the game like that, you want to make sure that we get on the board right away,” Pujols said. “He gave me a pretty good pitch to hit, and I put my best swing of the night on it.”
“It didn’t help that I served him a slider on a silver platter,” added Gallagher. “It was definitely a rocky way to enter the game. I felt like I got hot quick enough, but hindsight is always 20/20. I wish I could go back and take a few more [warmup pitches] to calm myself down and give myself a better mindset. I kind of just came out a little too aggressive.”
Albert Pujols entered last nights game with these career stats at PNC Park:
.381 AVG, .462 OBP, .714 SLG, 23 HR, 69 RBI, 71R
Seven men came to the plate in the first inning with four runs scoring before the first out was even recorded.
Gallagher pitched 4.1 innings, gave up five runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one. Sean continued to struggle with his control. At one point he retired 10 batters in a row.
Jose Tabata continued his hot bat, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base. He has 51 hits since the All-Star break, second in the NL behind the Cubs Starlin Castro.
Neil Walker led off the sixth inning with a triple and Garrett Jones followed with a two-run home run (his 18th).
The Bucs couldn’t score catch up enough. The cardinals tapped on three more runs in the fifth inning and three more in the eighth. St Louis won, 10-2.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates have now dropped six of the eight games played so far on this 10-game homestand.
- The Pirates have placed 1B Jeff Clement on the 15-day D.L. The move is retro to 8/21, with a left knee irritation. LHP Justin Thomas has been re-called from Triple-A Indy.
- Minor League Update:
John Bowker: 1-for-3, HR (3), .348 AVG
Charlie Morton 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 4K, 0BB (3.83 ERA)
Jeff Locke 5.2 IP, 5H, 1ER, 7K, 2BB (WP 3-1)
Andrew Lambo 1-for-4, 2RBI (.333 AVG)
Zack Von Rosenberg 5IP, 4H, 2ER, 3K, 2BB (3.39 ERA)
- The Pirates have scored two runs in five of the past six games. They have gone seven games without cracking the 3-run mark.
- Neil Walker’s .370 AVG with runners on base is the third highest for the Pirates since 1974.
- Lastings Milledge has not been complaining about lack of playing time since the Pirates have moved Doumit primarily to right field.
“No, I’m not complaining,” Milledge said Monday. “It’s not personal. I know JR loves the way I play, I know Neal loves the way I play.”
“It’s just sometimes certain situations things don’t work out for the time being. I just feel like, when I get my opportunity, I’m going to make the best of it, whether it’s two times a week or three times a week. When I get in there I need to make up for lost time. That’s the approach I’ve been taking. The last couple guys I faced have been No. 1 starters.”
“I could easily fall into that trap, but I don’t care who’s out there right now, anytime I get an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of it. I can’t control how much playing time I get, but I can control my energy level when I get in the game. Whether I start or pinch-hit, I’m going to be the most ready guy on the team. That’s something I take pride in.”
Pittsburgh-Post Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic’s Pirates chat transcript: (A few questions that I wanted to share)
Greg45478: Is Evan Meek going to get a save opportunity this year, or is Hanrahan the permanent closer right now?
Dejan Kovacevic: Baseball? OK.
I get the impression, though the Pirates will not say so, that they’re being more careful with Meek than they’d like to let on. His inning count is ahead of Hanrahan, and Hanrahan has done it before.
I also get the impression the Pirates would much, much rather have these two work out the closer thing next spring, not now.
colormeskeptical: What is Aki still doing in the organization? Are they seriously thinking someone will trade for him through waivers? Having anyone other than him get those at bats has to be a better use of them.
Dejan Kovacevic: I really couldn’t see the Pirates telling a guy who’s taking that much of their money to just go home and lie on the couch counting it. They are not happy with any aspect of his preparation entering this season, though they have not criticized that publicly.
I wrote back in the spring that I thought Iwamura looked overweight, and that was greeted with some derision. The Pirates now acknowledge that.
He will ride buses all summer.
Chris: How does John Russell continue to keep his job? Watching him manage the game Friday night and not get the pinch hitter or another relief pitcher up when you might have a chance to get back in the game is a joke.
Dejan Kovacevic: I was trying to think the next day if that was the most questionable move I had seen from Russell, and I still ranked it third: No. 1 was not sending his players out of the dugout to take on the Dodgers this April when Ramon Ortiz threw twice at Andrew McCutchen’s head. No. 2 was lifting Zach Duke in the home finale last year at 8 2/3 innings.
Tuesday’s Pitching Matchup:
Adam Wainwright 17-7, 2.08 ERA
Paul Maholm 7-12, 4.92 ERA