In the first arbitration hearing of the year Ross Ohlendorf has defeated the Pirates, meaning the 28-year-old right-hander will receive $2.025 million this season rather than the $1.4 million figure submitted by the team.
Ohlendorf won the case despite going 1-11 in 21 starts last season, which means he already has as many victories in 2011 as he had in all of 2010. Sort of.
With a 4.07 ERA in 108 innings (and a 3.92 ERA in 177 innings in 2009) he pitched much better than his ugly win-loss record suggests, so it’s interesting that Ohlendorf came out on top in a situation where rulings often come from people not particularly well-versed in modern baseball analysis.
Perhaps the Princeton graduate made a compelling case for himself or at least a compelling case against the importance of win-loss records for pitchers. Either way, it’s a victory for … well, not caring about victories.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.