Russ Ortiz and Ramon Ortiz in the same game? Dodgers deserved to lose

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Russ Ortiz took the loss in last night’s marathon Dodgers-Diamondbacks game, but a terrible play from Matt Kemp in center field was actually to blame. With that said, at this point any major-league team using Russ Ortiz in a game that counts in the standings probably deserves to lose.
Ortiz went 103-60 with a 4.00 ERA in 1,341 innings through age 30, including 21 wins and a fourth-place Cy Young finish for the Braves in 2003. However, since then he’s gone 10-29 with a 6.59 ERA and putrid 185/177 K/BB ratio in 317 innings while pitching for five different teams, posting yearly ERAs of 6.89, 8.14, 5.51, 5.57, and now 8.31.
So if the Dodgers are in the 11th inning of a 7-7 game and want to use a 36-year-old pitcher who hasn’t had an ERA under 5.00 since 2004 … well, they deserve what they got. Heck, before turning to Russ Ortiz in extra innings they used Ramon Ortiz to get two outs in the seventh inning. He’ll be 37 years old next month, has allowed five runs in 4.1 innings so far this season, and hasn’t had an ERA under 5.00 since 2004.
I’ll never understand why teams keep giving chances to washed-up (and then some) veterans like Russ and Ramon Ortiz (or Sidney Ponson for another prime example) when they’d probably be better off just randomly picking a different pitcher off a Triple-A roster. You’re telling me there aren’t a couple 20-somethings in the Dodgers’ farm system who could do a better job than the geriatric Ortiz boys?

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.