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Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tonight's game

Tonight we find out if Ollie is really on his way back or if last Saturday night was just another fluke in what's really been a terrible season. Saturday he was wild at times, walking 4, but also had moments of brilliance as he struck out 8 in 5 innings. His only mistake was giving up a 2-run homer to Matt Holliday, but other than that one pitch he kept himself fairly safe and out of trouble. He also brought his ERA down from 8.03 to 7.50, which looks less painful but is still probably triple what everybody was expecting it to be.

The Reds haven't had the best May, going 8-15 so far. However, they're just getting off a 3 game sweep of the Nationals, a team that isn't overwhelmingly good but has been pretty decent throughout the year. We, of course started off hot and have since cooled down, going 2-6 over our last 8 games. Mind you had one or two plays in each game gone in our favor, we would have been 7-1, with last night's beating really being the only game that we didn't have a good chance to win.

Ollie's opposition tonight is Elizardo Ramirez, a fairly young right-hander who went to Cincy as part of the Cory Lidle deal with the Phillies last season. His numers aren't overwhelming by any means, and so far this year he's 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA. He doesn't pitch as well against lefties (.278 opp. BA vs. .250 for righties,) so hopefully we'll see Mackowiak in the lineup tonight. Last season he pitched as a reliever a few times. In 15 innings, he gave up 17 hits (including 3 HRs) and 8 runs while walking 5 and striking out 9. As I said, nothing overwhelming, but not like he's somebody to look past, especially since he's still young. The way the Pirates have been playing at this point, I think we need to take every AB as seriously as we can until we start winning a few games again. It's not that we aren't hitting, we're just not getting runs. Hopefully we'll be able to rough up a youngster like we did when we faced Houston's Ezequiel Astacio to start our last winning surge.



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