What a weird game. The Pirates lead 1-0 for most of it without the benefit of a hit, then got a hit, then gave up two runs and lost. Getting one-hit is never a good thing and Ramon Vazquez getting that one hit is probably only going to encourage John Russell to keep Andy LaRoche on the bench more often. I think that’s a bad thing, but I’ll go in to that a little bit later.
Instead, I want to look at Ross Ohlendorf’s start. On the surface, I wasn’t terribly impressed with what I saw from the Gamecast this afternoon. His velocity didn’t seem all that impressive (it sat right around 90 or 91), and an almost every pitch was a fastball or sinker. The distinction between a fastball and a sinker can be a pretty fine one, but Pitch FX says that 70 of his 90 pitches was either one or the other and I don’t see a whole lot of difference in break between the two pitches.
That’s not to say that there’s not a difference; it’s hard to tell exactly what those numbers mean without a point of reference. But if Ohlendorf was dominating with a good, hard sinker today, I would expect to see something other than 10 flyouts and only seven groundouts. With only one strikeout, that’s a pretty iffy outing in every way except for the runs column. I’m not trying to rag on Ohlendorf here — six scoreless innings is a solid start and he probably shouldn’t have been rolled out to start the seventh — I’m simply looking at these pitch charts and trying to get some predictive value out of his start today. If I had to guess, he’s going to give up more runs in his next few starts if he pitches like he did today.