Third pitcher of the game Russ Ortiz. Russ was the pitching AND hitting star of the game. Russ pitched 3 innings, facing the minimum number of batters on only 36 pitches. The Cubs really didn't hit anything hard off of Ortiz. I remembered Russ as a fly ball pitcher but 5 of his 9 outs were on ground balls, 3 were on strikeouts (2 looking) and only one out was recorded by a ball hit into the air....and that was on a foul popup to 3B. Russ was corner pitching very effectively, as his 2 called strikeouts attest. He also had several swing-throughs on fastballs. Hard to tell from my location......but I believe the reports that his fastball is 4-5 MPH faster than the last couple of years....it sure looked like it anyway. I also remember Russ as not a great control guy.......but he had only one 3 ball count and only two 2 ball counts. Who is this pitcher and what did he do with Russ Ortiz?
As if that wasn't enough, Russ also was the hitting star of the game. In the 6th inning, Russ came to bat with the bases loaded and 1 out. I thought Bochy would send up a pinch hitter, since Russ had already thrown 2 innings, but that was not the case. On a 2-0 count, Russ rapped a bases clearing double, for a sweet 3 RBI. He really didn't hit the ball hard, he just hit it where it was pitched and found an open area in the alley. All in all........not a bad game for Russ.