The Cubs look to win the opening series after a come from behind win on Saturday. Matt Garza makes his Wrigley debut against another tall, hard throwing righty.
Ross Ohlendorf's name on the lineup card signals a change of pace from the two soft-tossers that opened the series for the visiting Pirates. Sunday's game will present the Cubs with a right-handed power pitcher who came to Pittsburgh via the Bronx for Xavier Nady. Everyday starter
Thanks B for noticing that major brain cramp. I'll blame the midnight hour posting for the mistake.
The Pirates took the 28 year old righty to arbitration this winter, unable to agree to a deal on their own. It was Ohlendorf's first year of eligibility, coming off a 1-11 record. Fortunately, the fact that Ohlendorf out-pitched his teammates and was roughly league average carried the day. The figure the player and his agents submitted was awarded as his 2011 salary—$2,025,000.
Not to say 2010 was a cup of tea outside of the W/L record. Ohlendorf has an early stint on the DL with back spasms, a scary incident in July when hit in the head by a line drive, and was shut down in August with shoulder issues.
Ohlendorf throws fastball (four- and two-seam), circle-change and slider. You can see images of the first three grips very nicely in his MLB.com photo gallery.
He also threw a few curveballs early in 2009, and even showed the Cubs what may have been a throwback to the old yakker last May. It came in at slider speed, the one and only flash of a possible curveball, which was not the case for the handful from two years ago.
Picking out two- and four-seam fastballs for Ohlendorf is not a simple task, so consider these break-downs to be best effort via worst effort. I figure if I make a lot of mistakes it evens out, a philosophy developed by observing NBA officiating.
|Vs.||Season||Pitches||Four-seam FB (FA)||Two-seam FB (SI)||Slider (SL)||Circle-change (CH)||Curveball (CU)|
The strange bunch of four-seam fastballs way off in negative pfx_x land are from the old Yankee Stadium, where PITCHf/x alignment was about a foot off. Included as-is for posterity. And laziness.
Despite a 3/4 arm angle and his preference for two-seam fastballs, Ohlendorf is a fly ball pitcher. His two-seam fastball is a tailer, not a sinker (despite the SI labeling convention shown above).
The fly ball tendency is a trait shared by Garza, so the wind effects should have a roughly equal impact on both teams. The forecast is for temperatures rising in the 50s, a chance of rain and 20 mph wind out of the south. The ball hawks on Waveland could be busy.