To win his third consecutive start, Ogando might have to outduel former AL Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia(notes) in the finale of a three-game series against a New York Yankees team which may be missing Alex Rodriguez(notes).
After being called up from the minors last June, Ogando was 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 44 relief appearances for the AL champion Rangers. He’s been even better this year in the first two starts of his career, yielding no runs and two hits in each.
Ogando (2-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched at least six innings in both starts but might have lasted longer if it weren’t for a blister on his right index finger. Fluid build-up under a callus on that finger kept him from pitching past the seventh inning during Monday’s 2-1 win in Detroit.
Texas manager Ron Washington told the team’s official website the blister had “dried up.”
“No problems,” he added. “He’s good to go.”
The left-hander gave up one run over 5 2-3 innings last Sunday despite allowing 14 hitters to reach base in a 4-0 defeat in Boston.
“You’ve just got to keep making pitches,” Sabathia told the Yankees’ official website. “I’m just out there still trying to make pitches and get ground balls and get outs. My arm felt good. It’s just my delivery is a little off.”
Sabathia started both New York wins over Texas in last year’s AL championship series, including a six-inning performance in a 7-2 victory in Game 5.
Ogando gave up a run in the eighth inning of that game after throwing 3 2-3 scoreless innings in his five previous appearances against New York.
Sabathia is 9-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 16 starts versus the Rangers (10-4), including the playoffs. He’s 19-3 with a 2.41 ERA in his last 29 outings in the Bronx, where the Yankees have won seven of 10.
Sabathia, though, might not have help from Rodriguez. After hitting .563 in his previous five contests, the Yankees third baseman left in the seventh inning Saturday with lower back and oblique stiffness. However, no medical tests were planned.
“His lower right side was stiff,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”