I didn’t see even a split second of Saturday’s loss and while I saw plenty of Sunday’s game, there’s very little to say about a three-hit shutout in which the opponent strikes you out 13 times. Instead of wasting space on recaps that would’ve be useful, let’s go over some other things.
DK focuses his game story on Ross Ohlendorf’s loss of velocity this year. Ohlendorf has really fascinated me this year because I can’t ever remember a pitcher making such a huge transformation in terms of pitching style. His fastball is completely gone and he’s relying almost entirely on his sinker, which from what I can tell has basically replaced his fastball. Some nights, he mixes a slider and changeup in very well with the sinker and on those nights, he’s very effective. Other nights, the off-speed stuff isn’t nearly as effective and he gets pounded. He still gets strikeouts, as we saw against the Cubs early last week, but mostly because his arm action varies very little from pitch to pitch and the differences in speed between his fastball, change, and breaking pitch can be devastating. He’s really more of a junkballer than anything though, which makes it crazy that he’s actually exceeded most expectations to this point in the season. It’s really pretty unique for a pitcher to make such a drastic change in approach at Ohlendorf’s age and potentially wind up a better pitcher for it.
Still no word on the Sano situation, though from various Twitter updates (I can’t find any other news about the guy that I can access freely), the Orioles are the front runners, the Twins are out of the running, his bonus may be lower than people expect, and no one really knows what’s going to happen. Then again, this says the Twins made an offer for Sano contingent on the investigation (which I’d assume the Pirates’ offer is as well, which would explain the conflicting reports), so, uh, yeah. I dunno either. Whatever the case is, nothing’s going to happen before the MLB investigation into his age concludes.
Freddy Sanchez is the Pirates’ All-Star. I think Zach Duke has a great case, but Sanchez is having a great year, too. He’s just three extra base hits shy of last year’s total at the half-way point and his defense is much better now that his shoulder has healed up. As good as Duke’s been, I’d imagine most people want to see more than a half-season out of him before declaring him an All-Star.