If there’s any bright side to Dan Haren’s stuggles on Saturday, it’s the continued success of utility reliever Ross Ohlendorf, who followed up his six-inning, one-run showing in his first outing as a National by allowing only two hits and one run over 4 2/3 innings in relief of Haren. “His off-speed stuff he’s kept down. The fastball…he adds and subtracts from it,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He’ll go from 88 to 93, change location.” In the past, Ohlendorf did sit between 88 and 93 mph, occasionally popping the glove at 94. But Saturday, his fastball was consistently between 94 and 96, velocity Ohlendorf said he hasn’t reached regularly over the past few seasons. “My arm feels really good now, and it didn’t the past few years,” Ohlendorf said. “…I feel like I’ve figured out how to take care of it this year and it’s really helped.” For Ohlendorf, whose unassuming personality is at odds with his Texas-size frame and potentially nasty stuff, a new uniform and old-school windup seem to be adding up to a more aggressive approach than the 30-year-old has shown in the past. A deliberate pitcher who occassionally falls into nibbling at the strike zone, Ohlendorf averaged 4.4 walks per nine innings in just less than 50 innings with the Padres in 2012, and rarely established consistent command within the strike zone. But Ohlendorf was authoritative from the get-go Saturday. His very first pitch sped over the inside corner and under the hands of Rockies’ leadoff man Dexter Fowler at 95 mph. Ohlendorf continued to back Fowler off the plate with three more inside heaters before blowing him away with an elevated 95 mph fastball.
Ross Ohlendorf is strong in relief
Washington Post | Jun 23