With the status of one starting pitcher and one reliever in doubt, look for the Pirates to make a roster move before Saturday’s game against the Rockies.
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf left Friday’s game due to shoulder pain after pitching just 2 2/3 innings. Reliever Evan Meek was not available to pitch — even in a game in which both teams cleaned out their bullpens — because his right shoulder got tight this afternoon.
Chris Resop, Garrett Olson and Mike Crotta probably won’t be available Saturday, as they need time to recover after pitching back-to-back games. That leaves Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras and — possibly — Meek able to go if needed.
Righty Daniel McCutchen, who’s part of the rotation at Triple-A Indy but hasn’t yet pitched, is a candidate for a callup.
»»» As Carlos Gonzalez hit a fly ball to right in the third inning, Ohlendorf immediately walked off the mound and motioned for the trainer. After a brief on-field discussion, Ohlendorf left the game.
“We’re not sure yet what it is,” Ohlendorf said. “We’re going to see how it is the next couple of days.”
Last season, Ohlendorf was scratched from his second start due to back spasms. That led to a stint on the disabled list, from which he did not return until May 10.
Ohlendorf missed the final five weeks of the 2010 season due to tightness behind his right shoulder. He faced just two batters in his final start Aug. 23, and wound up on the 60-day DL.
Despite intensifying his offseason workout routine, Ohlendorf struggled throughout spring training. He started six games — the longest outing just 4 2/3 innings — and had a 9.82 ERA. In 18 1/3 innings, he allowed 34 hits, walked eight and got 14 strikeouts.
He said this latest injury is “similar, but not as bad” as the one he had last year. It’s in the same spot as before.
“I felt it a couple pitches before I came out (of the game),” Ohlendorf said. “I felt some discomfort, so I threw two more pitches and I knew I had to come out.”
Although it was a cold, wet night, Ohlendorf said he had no trouble warming up before the game.
»»» Good golly, what a play in the 10th inning by Pedro Alvarez! With the bases loaded with two outs, Ty Wigginton hit a smash down the line. Alvarez lunged behind the bag to snag the ball and threw across the diamond from one knee to get Wigginton.
“Beautiful. What a great baseball play,” manager Clint Hurdle marveled.
“If I can’t produce at the plate, I want to at least save some runs,” said Alvarez, who went 1 for 4, including two strikeouts. “That’s what happened today. It’s about keeping focus in situations like that.”
»»» According to the stats wonks at Elias, the 11 1/3 innings scoreless innings by the Pirates bullpen was the team’s longest in a game since 1900.
»»» Jose Tabata won it with an RBI double in the 14th inning. Tabata wasn’t sure he got enough of the ball until he saw right fielder Seth Smith hesitate an instant before the ball caromed off the Clemente Wall.
“When he (paused), I was like, Yeah!” Tabata said.
Josh Rodriguez, who’d drawn a two-out walk, scored from first base. He had no doubts about Tabata’s blast. “When he hit it, I thought it would hit off the wall, so I was just booking it,” J-Rod said. “I wanted to make sure they weren’t going to have a play on me, no matter what. I put my head down and took off”
It was Rodriguez’s first career run scored. Tabata is tied for the team lead with 11 hits, and has two RBI.
»»» Chris Resop tossed three innings and faced 13 batters (one batter more than Ohlendorf faced). I jokingly asked Resop if he had another two or three innings in him.
“Believe it or not, I actually felt all right,” Resop replied. “They asked me after two how I felt, and I said I felt fine. This is the first time I went back-to-back. I didn’t do that in spring (training) at all.”
With the bullpen on such a great roll, Resop just wanted to keep it rolling.
“You definitely don’t want to be that guy who messes things up,” he said, grinning. “You go out there, do everything you can and take it one pitch at a time.”