Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf left the Nationals’ 11-1 loss to the Tigers this afternoon after arm stiffness prevented him from throwing with usual velocity and effectiveness. Ohlendorf did not suffer an injury and stressed he is not hurt.
“I just haven’t quite recovered from my start,” Ohlendorf said. “I’m fine. I just need another day. I could have kept pitching. I just wasn’t throwing hard.”
Ohlendorf threw 114 pitches Friday night over seven innings in a victory over the Mets in the second game of a doubleheader. His fastball that hummed in the mid-90s, as it has all year. Today, Ohlendorf’s heater loped home at 86 miles per hour at its peak. He spiked pitches in front of home plate.
Ohlendorf retired the first hitter he faced and allowed a single to the second. As he faced his third batter, Manager Davey Johnson and trainer Lee Kuntz came to the mound and ended his day after 11 pitches.
“He said he was stiff,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Well, we can’t take a chance on that.’ He wanted to pitch, but no possibility.”
After a Nationals athletic trainer examined Ohlendorf, he is not scheduled for an MRI exam or any further tests.
Ohlendorf has been one of the most uplifting subplots in a dreary season. He joined the Nationals on a minor league contract. He has a 1.85 ERA over 34 innings. Ohlendorf likely will join the Nationals’ rotation after Taylor Jordan, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday, reaches his team-mandated innings limit in August.