Ron Washington expects Alexi Ogando to rebound

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
10:07
AM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Everything was there in Chicago, Alexi Ogando says, but just a bit off. The wet and cold conditions probably didn't help, but manager Ron Washington wasn't ready to attribute Ogando's third-shortest start to the elements.

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Washington certainly didn't want to create the excuse.

"It was just a hiccup," Washington said. "I expect him to keep us in the game when he gets the ball. ... If not, I'll have to take my belt off and give him a spanking."

Ogando (2-1, 3.32 ERA) worked on some mechanical issues over the weekend, but he won't know about those adjustments until he takes the mound tonight for the second game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

"I think it's going to be there," he said.

His fastball command, which Washington pegged as "erratic," was the biggest problem at Wrigley Field, where bad pitches are punished. Ogando's pitches was particularly up in the zone on Thursday when the Cubs tagged the right-hander for five runs in 2 1/3 innings. There were two home runs, a triple and a double.

Ogando had not given up more than a run in six consecutive starts dating back to 2011.

"It's something pitchers lose sometimes, and sometimes you don't even realize it," Ogando said of his command. "It comes back slowly but I feel like I regain it quickly."

With left-hander Matt Harrison (lower back) recently going on the 15-day disabled list, it's on the rest of the rotation to pick up the slack. Ogando recognized the heightened responsibility, but said it doesn't add more pressure.

Washington expressed confidence in Ogando, who is 3-0 with a 1.72 in his career against the Angels.

"We know he can spot the fastball," Washington said. "He's done it his whole life."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 55
RA. Beltre 53
OPSA. Beltre .888
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159