We’ve already written about Ross Ohlendorf’s glorious old-school-style delivery. But any time a Nats pitcher prompts ESPN to show his highlights in black-and-white, one blog item probably isn’t enough.
Thus, here is one of the heroes of the series win in Colorado, explaining to radio man Dave Jageler (during the pre-game show on 106.7 The Fan) how he came to throw like a Greatest Generation’er.
“I guess four years ago now, I was encouraged by Joe Kerrigan, who was the Pittsburgh pitching coach at the time, to start going over my head,” Ohlendorf explained. “He thought more movement would loosen me up, and I’d get better rhythm, and it really seemed to help. In playing catch some days we would split my hands and kind of do what I’m doing now, but we never did it on the mound. And playing catch since then, every once in a while I would do it.
“This offseason, working with the trainer who I’ve worked out with the last six years, we were kind of talking about mechanics,” Ohlendorf continued. “And I don’t like to think about mechanics a lot, I like to think more about the mindset. As long as I feel like I have the right mindset, I feel like I pitch well. But we kind of came to the conclusion that if I had more movement, my body would figure out the best path to take to throw the ball where I wanted to. So I decided to just try pitching that way. I was a little bit afraid that I might tip my pitches at first, but I’ve not been. It helps me stay loose, helps me have good rhythm.”
Jageler asked a follow-up about the pitch-tipping thing, noting that Ohlendorf keeps the ball in his glove until virtually the last moment.
“One thing that helps is that my pitches are pretty simple grips,” the pitcher said, agreeing with Jageler. “If I were to throw a split or a knuckle-curve, usually pitchers will pre-set those when they’re out of the stretch because they take a little while to get the right grip. If I threw those type of pitches, I’d probably need to do something different. But my grips are pretty simple, and I rotate the ball, set it for the pitch I’m going to throw. And because my grips are simple, I could also just grip it as I’m going. I do have enough time. I haven’t felt like I’ve tipped at all, the whole time that I’ve done it. If I did, I would make an adjustment. It’s not a concern of mine any more.”