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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Ankiel’s struggles continue

May 25, 2001

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— Rick Ankiel might be getting even wilder now that he's in the minors.

Ankiel hit the screen eight times, walked six of eight batters and threw five wild pitches Thursday night, lasting just two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Memphis against Nashville.

The beleaguered St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, making his third start since he was sent down, bounced his first warmup pitch, and it didn't get any better in the game.

"For whatever reason, I get too fast, and it just didn't work out," Ankiel said.

Ankiel, who allowed three earned runs, threw just 10 of 38 pitches for strikes. It was the second straight start in which he got just two outs.

At one point, he threw two straight wild pitches to the screen followed by seven straight balls.

Fans gave Ankiel a scattered standing ovation and polite cheers as he walked off the field, which the pitcher said only reminded him of his poor outing as the Redbirds lost 7-3.

Ankiel was optioned to Memphis on May 11 after going 1-2 in six starts with a 7.13 ERA and 25 walks in 24 innings. In the minors, he has a 20.77 ERA with 17 walks and 12 wild pitches in 41/3 innings.

Ankiel said he remains anxious to get back out on the mound for his next start.

"What can you do? You have to wait your five days," Ankiel said. "Hopefully, it will go fast."

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