Ortiz gets first win of his career pitching: “I’m happy for the hard work…”
Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Luis Ortiz talked about his first major league win after pitching the game of his life.
“I was more aggressive in the strike zone and had good command of my fastball,” Ortiz said of his outing (7 2/3 innings, five hits, two walks, 먹튀검증 four strikeouts, two runs) after the Pirates’ home game against Texas at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It was a stunning turnaround. After struggling in his previous two starts, allowing nine runs (five earned) in eight innings, he was dominant against the league’s top offense. The team won 6-4 to earn his debut win.
“I’m really happy,” he said. I thank the Lord that I was able to pitch my best and help the team win,” he said of his first win.
“I felt really comfortable. We had a game plan together before the game and that was the key to our success today,” he said, also thanking his catcher, Austin Hedges.
Head coach Derek Shelton said, “We were in attack mode the whole game against a team with one of the best offenses. We had some great pitches. Considering the state of their offense and the way they’ve been scoring lately, it was really impressive,” Shelton said of the rookie pitcher’s performance.
“I think it’s a reflection of the hard work we’ve been doing all week,” Ortiz said. I’m still working on getting better,” said Ortiz, who emphasized that his performance was the result of hard work.
He had a four-seam fastball and sinker that averaged around 96 mph, an 86 mph slider, and an 89.5 mph changeup. The changeup was particularly effective, generating a 40 percent swinging strike rate.
“I’ve been working on my changeup in recent years, and it’s finally gotten to where I need it to be,” he said, adding that he will continue to work on it.
Ortiz stepped into the starting role with Vince Velasquez out with an injury. With Velasquez’s return imminent, his performance had to be a head-scratcher for the club’s decision-makers. “We have to make a decision soon because Velasquez is coming back,” Shelton said. We haven’t made a decision yet,” Shelton said.
If Ortiz was on the mound, Tucupita Makano was at the plate. He drove in the winning run with a two-run homer in the seventh inning.
“It’s a special moment, not only for me, but for all the players. I think it came at the right time,” he said of hitting his first career grand slam at a crucial moment.
“We’ve been working with the hitting coaches a little bit lately,” Shelton said, noting that Makano has made some recent adjustments to his swing.
“It’s nice to see the work we’ve been doing translate into practice,” Makano said. I’m proud of the work I’ve been doing. I’m just trying to go out there and have fun and do my best.”
Pittsburgh’s offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Carlos Santana’s single to right field with runners on first and second was crucial, as the home run was overturned as a save on video review.
“Reynolds made a great slide,” Shelton said. Most guys would have lifted their feet in that situation, but he kept his feet down and slid,” Shelton said, praising Reynolds’ slide. “It’s really encouraging to see the batters keep fighting regardless of the out,” he said, praising their efforts.