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Astros 4, Pirates 1

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The first several innings of this one were downright ugly. Ross Ohlendorf is supposed to be a fireballer. When he threw his fastball in the low 90s in his successful first start, I assumed he was taking a little off it in an effort to throw more strikes. Today he was in the high 80s, which makes me think either he's taking that strategy to the extreme or he just doesn't have the velocity he used to, for some reason. As a result, he threw tons of pitches and left the game after five innings and four runs. The offense, for its part, made Mike Hampton look like Cy Young.

Those first several innings were easily bad enough to cost the Pirates the game, but some interesting things happened after that. Ryan Doumit narrowly missed turning the game into a one-run contest with a deep drive with two on in the sixth that almost cleared the left-field fence. Adam LaRoche added two hits, including a meaningless homer in the ninth, to bring his totals so far this year to .267/.290/.600, which looks a lot more like a typical LaRoche July line than a typical April line. And Jesse Chavez and Craig Hansen somehow managed to keep runs off the board for 3 2/3 innings. Mostly, though, Ohlendorf's start was troubling. If he can't throw hard, he'll probably struggle.