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Postgame: Ohly’s rebound


CHICAGO — Lost amid the insanity of the ninth inning of today’s 5-4 upset of the Cubs was a pretty good effort by righty Ross Ohlendorf.

Ohly2When we last saw Ohlendorf, he was struggling to get through three- and four-inning outings against lineups laden with minor leaguers in spring training. Expectations understandably might have been low for his season debut against the Cubs.

Surprise! Ohlendorf worked six innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, walked four (one intentionally) and struck out three. He threw 96 pitches, including 64 strikes.

“I didn’t show him much in spring training, but I’m planning to do well from now on,” Ohlendorf said. “I feel like I did better than I’ve been doing.”

From the start, Ohlendorf was in sync with catcher Jason Jaramillo. “For the most part, I just went with whatever JJ put down,” Ohlendorf said. “He and (Ryan) Doumit both always do good jobs calling games. Sometimes, I think too much. When I trust them more, it seems like I get into a better rhythm.”

»»» With the game tied 3-3 in the sixth, manager Clint Hurdle opted not to pinch-hit for Ohlendorf, who then lined a two-out single to left. But in the bottom of the inning, Ohlendorf served up Alfonso Soriano’s homer, which gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Hurdle said he kept Ohlendorf in the game in part because the Pirates had a short bench — Andrew McCutchen was out with a sore neck, Doumit was the backup catcher and couldn’t pinch-hit. Hurdle also thought Ohlendorf — who in the fifth gave up Starlin Castro’s leadoff triple (Castro later scored to tie the game) and walked two batters — was doing well enough to stay in the game

“He was building confidence,” Hurdle said. “So give him one more inning, get him out there. That was the best I’ve ever seen him throw, so maybe I wanted to watch a little more of it. We figured we’d let him try the sixth inning.”

»»» The Pirates won a road series in their first try this season. That’s saying a lot, considering the team won just four road series all of last year. Two of those road series wins came at Wrigley Field.



  1. Chuck H. says:

    Why do the Pirate batters swing at so many balls in the dirt? No wonder they struck out twelve times. You would think, right out of spring training, they would be more disciplined when batting. Even the announcers said the pitcher was not really a strike
    out pitcher, but he sure had the Bucs swinging. They aren’t going to win many games swinging wildly like that.

  2. Interesting and a nice win but a question that needs to be asked: Why didn’t Hurdle pinch run for Jaramillo in the 8th? It was late enough for Doumit to come in and speed was lacking with Jason? In my opinion that was really dumb and the manager needs to be asked!

  3. Danny in WV says:

    A sad commentary on the team that a pitching line of 6.00 era and 2.00 whip is “a pretty good effort.”

  4. Doyle37 says:

    Obviously, Ollie did better than ST. However, I didn’t think he looked all that good. I kept waiting for him to walk 3 in a row. Even though his strike/ball ratio was good, I was surprised that it was that good. To me, it appeared he was struggling the whole time he was out there. What I’d like to see is Karstens take his place. To me, Karstens looked in control. Much more so than Ollie.

  5. Doyle37 says:

    Pittsburgher4life…I thought the same thing. Perfect spot for McCutch…unless they were too afraid he might have to bull over the catcher and further damage the neck. Who else was available ?? A pitcher ?? That’s ok I guess… but Hurdle said he didn’t PH for Olly because his bench was thin with Cutch out. I guess no PR for the same reason but a pitcher shouldn’t hurt the bench too much although managers are VERY reluctant to use their last catcher. Doumit would have been forced into the game. Who is our 3rd string ( emergency ) catcher ??

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