Tonight, Ross Ohlendorf went out and made it clear why people like me who say he’ll probably end up in the bullpen in the long run might be entirely full of crap. On most nights, it seems like he lives and dies by his fastball/sinker/whatever and his off-speed pitches are secondary pitches that he has very little faith in to get hitters out. Tonight, he mixed in his breaking pitch (Bob Walk and Greg Brown called it a curve but it shows up as a slow slider on Pitch FX) and changeup in beautifully with his fastball, catching Cub hitters off guard the whole game in seven shutout innings. I was particularly impressed with the velocity change between his fastball and breaking pitch (about 10 mph), which really seemed to disarm hitters on more than one occasion. The last time I remember him mixing his off-speed stuff in so well was his early season start against the Marlins. If he can do this more consistently, we really might have something in him that we didn’t count on.
Ted Lilly was almost as good as Ohlendorf, but Freddy Sanchez had a great game with two RBI hits and scoring the first run from second base on a strikeout/wild pitch in the fourth. The bullpen was great as well, with Grabow getting two big strikeouts after a rare Jack Wilson error really put him in a pinch int he eighth.
In the end, I know a lot of players are upset over the Morgan trade and to be honest, I would be too, if I was in their place. Nothing quite heals that pain like a nice, easy shutout win, though. Remember that there was a point in time where people were upset that the Penguins traded Colby Armstrong because he was Sidney Crosby’s best friend on the team and supposedly a great clubhouse guy. I know this situation isn’t exactly the same, but man, doesn’t that seem silly now?