Rangers lose Ogando for rest of Series
Oblique strain will sideline reliever; Nippert likely replacement
ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando left Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night with a left oblique strain that will end his season.
Manager Ron Washington announced after his team's 4-0 loss to the Giants that the injury would prevent Ogando from pitching again in the World Series.
"Well, we'll make a move, but he's through," Washington said. "Threw that slider and it just pulled on him. He was doing a great job, too, but that's the way it goes sometimes. We sure hate to lose him, but we'll make a move."
Ogando pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief of Tommy Hunter before he was injured. The rookie right-hander struck out Cody Ross for the second out in the sixth inning but showed signs of discomfort after his first pitch to Juan Uribe. After one more pitch to the Giants' third baseman, Ogando left the game with a 1-1 count.
Ogando began his outing in the fifth inning against the top of the Giants' order. Ogando retired all five batters he faced and recorded two strikeouts.
"I was feeling fine in the first inning," Ogando said through an interpreter. "But after I started the second inning of relief, I started to feel something on my side. That's why I wasn't accurate on my throws. It was too much."
Dustin Nippert appears to be the most likely candidate to replace Ogando. The right-hander was active for the American League Division Series but not the AL Championship Series or the World Series. He has been throwing on the side. In the regular season, Nippert posted a 4.29 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 34 walks in 56 2/3 innings.
In six postseason innings, Ogando had eight strikeouts and one walk over six innings. He lowered his postseason ERA to 1.50.
Darren Oliver relieved Ogando and finished the inning by inducing a popup from Uribe. The Giants later scored a run off Oliver and another off Darren O'Day, but the bullpen pitched well in its five innings of work.
With Cliff Lee set to start Game 5 on Monday, the Rangers will have bigger problems if Washington needs another five innings of relief. But Ogando's injury costs Texas' relief corps a reliable arm that had risen to the occasion in the postseason.
"They did a good job," center fielder Josh Hamilton said of the bullpen. "Obviously, you'd like the starter to go a little bit longer, but it didn't happen. Ogando was doing a great job before he tweaked whatever he tweaked. When your bullpen does that for you, you'd like to score them some runs, but it didn't happen."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.