Ross Ohlendorf said he thought he threw the ball better and was moving in the right direction after his start tonight, despite taking the loss and numbers that looked just about as bad as his previous outings.
When told about his pitcher’s evaluation, manager Clint Hurdle said that’s good, because that’s what Ohlendorf’s been saying all spring.
“The gloves will come off his next start and we’ll see where he takes it,” Hurdle said with a smile.
But like Ohlendorf, Hurdle said he isn’t concerned about the right-hander. He’s seen guys go through springs without getting anybody out then start the season and roll right through it. But the manager also said Ohlendorf knows what he needs to work on.
“He does have to get the ball down, with more consistency. His breaking stuff has got to be sharper. There’ve been sequences, but he hasn’t been able to string together a consistent span of time. It’s been a little hit or miss and he’s been in situations where’s sprayed it. We didn’t help him a couple times on defense, which compounded it, and he didn’t help himself. I just keep encouraging him to trust his stuff and throw it lower.”
When Hurdle said they didn’t help Ohlendorf on defense, he was referring to a throwing error by Ryan Doumit trying to catch Jimmy Rollins stealing second base in the first inning and fielding errors by Neil Walker and Ronny Cedeno that resulted in three unearned runs for the Phillies.
On that topic, Hurdle said you never want to see errors.
“You can’t keep making them,” he said. “Doesn’t help the game. You play 27 outs, you’ve got a chance. You play 30 outs, things get ugly. We spiked some pitch counts for everybody out there. (Evan) Meek shouldn’t have had to throw 26 pitches in the eighth inning. Ohlendorf should have had less. The guys are aware of it. We’ve worked extremely hard. But at the end of the day, the ball to Cedeno ate him up. He was ready but it ate him up. The other ones, a throwing error and a fielding error. It’s never pretty when you make three. When the last column’s got three, it’s never good.”
— The game started more than 30 minutes late because of a parade of scouts walking the warning track before the game. It lasted 3:09, and it was 48 degrees at the start. By comparison, the temperature was 81 degrees at first pitch against the Twins the day before in Florida.