Tag Archives: Ultimate Fighting Championships

Can Andrei Arlovski Get His ‘Bite’ Back?

One of the stranger sports stories of the past is that of Rick Ankiel. Ankiel became a vital cog in the starting rotation of the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals and as a lefthanded pitcher possessing both velocity (his fastball was in the 95-97 MPH range) and wicked breaking stuff his upside was unlimited. During the Cards run to the 2000 division title Ankiel allowed only 7.05 hits and struck out 9.98 strikeouts per nine innings. As the playoffs began, it all fell apart for Rick Ankiel’s career as a starting pitcher. In the third inning of game one, working with a 6-0 lead, Ankiel allowed 2 hits, 4 walks and 5 wild pitches before being pulled with two outs. Initially, he wrote it off as a bad outing until history quickly repeated itself in game 2 of the NLCS against the NY Mets. He threw only 20 pitches in that game, 5 of which went past catcher Eli Marrero. For the next several years he tried to fix the control problems that suddenly manifest themselves on baseballs biggest stage but was unable to do so.