Tonight’s Bradenton Marauders vs. Dunedin Blue Jays game belonged to the starting pitchers. Ross Ohlendorf made his first rehab assignment for the Marauders and pitched very well. He had pin-point accuracy with his fastball, which sat at 90-91 MPH. As the game moved on, he worked a bit on his curve which looked a bit rusty. Here are the inning by inning results for Ross:
1st inning: 12 pitches (11 strikes) 9 fastballs, 2 changeups and 1 curve ball.
2nd inning: 8 pitches (7 strikes), 7 fastballs and 1 curve ball.
3rd inning: 16 pitches (11 strikes), 8 fastballs, 6 curve balls and 2 changeups.
4th inning: 6 pitches (6 strikes), 5 fastballs, 1 curve.
Total: 4 innings, 42 pitches (35 strikes), 29 fastballs, 9 curves and 4 changeups.
His fastball had good movement in to right handed batters. He worked both sides of the plate very well. And he kept the ball down. I believe the only two pitches he threw waist high were two curves that he hung (and got away with) in the first two innings. Then he worked hard on the curve in the 3rd inning to get it where it needed to be. The one curve he threw in the 4th was a beauty to get a called strike three.
Dunedin’s starting pitcher was their #1 pick from last year, Randall Wojciechowski. All of his pitches had great movement, with the ability to move his fastball either in or out to batters. His movement sometimes got away from him (resulting in 3 walks over 5 2/3 innings). But due to that movement, the Marauders had a tough time squaring up on his pitches.
The first 5 innings took barely over an hour to complete, with no runs being scored on either side. In the top of the 6th, the Marauders broke through on a 2-out, bases loaded single by Elevys Gonzalez on a 3-2 pitch which scored Robbie Grossman (who had reached on a hard single to right field) and Jarek Cunningham (who had an infield hit in the hole at shortstop).
In the 7th, after Wojciechowski had left, the Marauders scored 2 more runs due to a triple that Adalberto Santos smoked to the centerfield wall — that triple scored Ramon Cabrera who had singled; then David Rubinstein singled in Santos. The Marauders added 2 more runs in the 9th to put the game away with some nice hitting from Ramon Cabrera again leading the way with a leadoff single, followed by a single by Benji Gonzalez, a sacrifice fly by David Rubinstein and a 2-out RBI single by Jarek Cunningham.
Jose Tabata started the game in left field and did not look good. He had what I call an anti-strike out in the first inning by looking at two fastballs in the strike zone, then swinging at a pitch in the dirt for strike 3. In the 3rd inning, he topped a ball towards 3rd base and jogged to first base to get thrown out easily — the type of hit he beat out for infield singles earlier in the year. The only challenging play he had in the field, he jogged after a fly ball that dropped in for one of only two hits surrendered by Ohlendorf. As I mentioned last night, Tabata looks to be a while away from returning to Pittsburgh.
The “usual” starter, Brett Lorin, pitched 4 innings tonight and struggled with his control. He threw 16 pitches (6 balls) in the 5th inning and 23 (10 balls) in the 6th. I didn’t keep track of his pitches after that, but he had another tough inning in the 7th. I was shocked to see come out for the 8th, but that ended up being his best inning retiring the side in order.
Even though he was struggling, he only walked one batter and stayed out of the middle of the strike zone. Lorin threw a couple of intentional high fastballs but other than that he stayed low. He gave up a couple runs mainly on ground ball hits through the very porous right side of the Marauders’ infield — Aaron Baker and Jarek Cunningham cover about 5 feet of ground on either side of them, so hitting the ball in their direction generally results in hits. Brett was throwing in the familiar 90-91 MPH range and had a nice changeup which induced a few groundballs.
All in all, the pitchers for the Marauders stayed out of trouble by keeping the ball down and away from the middle of the strike zone and the hitters had some timely hits to take game 2 of the series in Dunedin.