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Don't Worry, Ogando is Still Good

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Through his first two career starts against the Mariners and the Tigers, Alexi Ogando was unflappable, nearly unhittable and totally impossible to push runs across the plate on.

    On Sunday night, he met his match. Finally.

    Ogando gave up five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings in the ridiculous launching pad that is the new Yankee Stadium. Going into the game, he had allowed two regular-season homers in 54 2/3 career innings. Sunday night, he gave up three home runs.

    So basically, what we're saying here is, don't sound the alarm.

    Ogando is still a freakish talent who's taken to his new role in the starting rotation with pretty great ease, despite the short notice in which he was thrust into the role after Tommy Hunter's groin injury late in the spring.

    Listening to ESPN commentator Orel Hershiser, who also happens to be a formerly disgruntled Rangers ex-pitching coach, talk about Ogando during the telecast, you would've thought Ogando was just another version of Ryan Drese — a flash in the pan.

    But then again, Hershiser loved him some Ryan Drese, which was a big reason he was let go from the organization.

    Chalk Sunday night's game up to Ogando being in a huge spotlight for the first time as a starter, pitching in the most hitter-friendly park in baseball and against one of the best, most dangerous lineups in baseball. Those hitters won't be the types he will face all season.

    Ogando has made a serious case for sticking around in the rotation even when Tommy Hunter returns, though there is still a huge hole in the 8th inning in the bullpen that Ogando would be really nice in right now. Hunter doesn't strike me as a bullpen pitcher. We'll see what happens, but Ogando will be just fine.