The Washington Post

Best Week in Washington Sports: Ross Ohlendorf


(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

My colleague Chris Cillizza has a great weekly feature called “Worst Week in Washington,” where he spotlights a political figure who has landed on the wrong side of the press. I’m stealing a page out of his playbook, and it was my original intention to award a “Worst Week” to a D.C. sports figure every Friday. But I’m generally not a cranky person, so I decided that the Bog version should be all puppies and chocolate-chip cookies. So here’s “Best Week in Washington Sports.” 

On Wednesday, Ross Ohlendorf made his debut with the Nats after being called up from the minors the day before. He went six innings, giving up only one run and setting the Nats up for a 5-1 win over the Rockies. And he did it with a buzz-worthy windup that endeared him to fans all over.

Ohlendorf explained his “old-school” delivery after the game, and then went into more detail with Nats radio broadcaster Dave Jageler.

“I don’t like to think about mechanics a lot, I like to think more about the mindset,” he said. “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.”

It didn’t just look interesting, it was effective and caught the attention of the right person.

“I’m going to try to find a way to keep him around,” Davey Johnson said, after Ohlendorf’s start.

And he did. On Thursday, Johnson moved him to the bullpen to be the Nats’ second long reliever.

“I was really excited about this start,” Ohlendorf said on Wednesday. “I’m glad it went well.”

Indeed.

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