I had seen Ross Ohlendorf messing with an old-school wind-up when he threw back in spring, but forgot just how awesome it was until he fired his first pitch to Dexter Fowler tonight.
I love the arms rocking back and forth and the slow turn on the rubber. Feels like I’m watching a game in the early 1900s.
Ohlendorf is off to a fantastic start to his Nationals debut, throwing three scoreless innings thus far out at Coors Field. The veteran right-hander has retired nine of the 10 hitters he’s faced and needed just 33 pitches to this point, 21 of which have been for strikes.
In fact, the only Rockies hitter to reach base so far was Jonathan Herrera back in the first inning, and that was on a bunt single up the first base line.
Ohlendorf sold out trying to flip the ball to Adam LaRoche to nab Herrera, but the ball scooted past first base, allowing Herrera to move into scoring position.
No matter. Ohlendorf retired Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to leave Herrera at second and end the inning.
The Nats haven’t been able to get much off Jorge De La Rosa to this point. Jhonatan Solano doubled off De La Rosa leading off the third but was caught in between second and third on a comebacker and was tagged out.
It’s scoreless after three innings tonight, with Ohlendorf showing some strong stuff in his first bit league start since August 17 of last season.
Update: Ian Desmond has himself a 14-game hitting streak and the Nats have themselves a 1-0 lead.
Desmond ripped an RBI single into right in the fourth, bringing in Ryan Zimmerman with the first run of the ballgame.
During his 14-game streak, Desmond is batting .353. He’s riding high right now, and he’s given Ohlendorf a run to work with.
Update II: How about this?
Ohlendorf is through five scoreless innings. He’s surrendered just one hit. He’s allowed just two baserunners.
His location hasn’t been great. A lot of pitches have been up in the zone and Ohlendorf has gotten some nice plays behind him from his defenders.
But this has been quite an outing from Ohlendorf in what was a pretty high-pressure spot for him.
Update III: A three-run sixth inning from the Nationals has opened this game up a bit.
Zimmerman’s double off the wall in center plated Jeff Kobernus - and sent Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez crashing into each other - and then Desmond drove in two more with a single to center.
It’s 4-0 Nats, as the bats have come to life a bit. De La Rosa is now out of the game, and Ohlendorf is still going strong.
Update IV: Ohlendorf is done for the night. And the Nats couldn’t have asked for too much more of him.
The righty went six innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out two, and threw 89 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Ohlendorf got into his first real jam of the night in the sixth. He walked Fowler with one out and then gave up an RBI triple to Gonzalez. The dangerous Tulowitzki then came to the plate and could’ve pulled Colorado within a run with one swing, and he nearly did. Tulowitzki sent a high fly ball just foul down the left field line, battled Ohlendorf for eight pitches and then flew out to center to end the inning and Ohlendorf’s outing.
Tulowitzki slammed his bat down after making contact, furious that he couldn’t do more with Ohlendorf’s 93 mph fastball up in the zone. But he was only one of many Rockies hitters who struggled to square up Ohlendorf’s pitches tonight.
The Nats have a 4-1 lead as we go to the seventh, and Ohlendorf is in line for the win.