Righty winces on first pitch of inning, leaves game
By Craig Forde
Special to MLB.com |
BOSTON -- In his start versus the Blue Jays last Sunday, Rays righty Jake Odorizzi was hit in the left leg by a line drive, but he felt no ill effects, save for some discoloration.
On Saturday against the Red Sox, he worked around a leadoff single to Dustin Pedroia and glided through a scoreless first inning. But with his first pitch to Mitch Moreland in the second, Odorizzi felt something in the area where he was hit previously.
After the righty grabbed his left hamstring, manager Kevin Cash and head trainer Ron Porterfield came out to check on Odorizzi, who made two warmup pitches to test the leg before determining that the tightness was too much. Odorizzi left the game, which the Rays lost, 2-1, and afterward was headed to the disabled list.
"It just felt like an overstretched muscle," Odorizzi said after the shortest outing of his career. "It's the same leg I got hit on, it was kind of a product of that. Everything was tight in there, but I was able to go through my normal routine -- running, lifting, bullpens, warming up was fine. It's just one of those things, you never know when it might happen, but I felt really good going up until that point. It was a product of last start and the bruising that had developed."
After the game, Cash said Odorizzi will be placed on the 10-day DL with a left hamstring strain and that the Rays would recall right-handed pitcher Chase Whitley from Triple-A Durham, making him available in the bullpen for Sunday afternoon's game at Fenway Park.
"He's fine," Cash said. "We anticipate that this will be a short stay. ... Generally, when you lose a guy like that, those games can spiral out of control. We had a very good opportunity to win that game."
"There's no pain walking, strength is good, it's just a waiting period now for the 10 days," Odorizzi said. "I'll be ready to go once that time is up, judging by how I feel today. It's unfortunate we had to use the bullpen for seven innings and came up short. They did a fantastic job."
Entering the day, the Tampa Bay bullpen had logged 31 1/3 of the team's 98 innings, and would be forced to pull off another seven against a solid Red Sox lineup.
Erasmo Ramirez, who came on for Odorizzi, allowed a first-pitch home run to Mitch Moreland. But Ramirez didn't allow another run for the rest of his four-inning outing, and Tommy Hunter, Xavier Cedeno and Jumbo Diaz were able to hold Boston to just one other run on two hits and two walks, giving the Rays an opportunity at a rally that fell a run shy.
"The only mistake was the first pitch. I didn't expect he was going to swing at the first one. Its just part of the game," said Ramirez. "He knew I had to throw strikes, it was early and I wanted to go deep in the game. So, if I throw balls, that's less chance to go deep. He got good contact, he got the run, and after that, everything became about just attacking."
"Outstanding effort by all the guys who pitched after [Odorizzi]," Cash said of his bullpen. "Very unfortunate, but Erasmo picked us up in a big way where we're not having to scramble too bad. We've got some guys that threw a lot, but we'll be OK tomorrow."
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston who covered the Rays on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.