Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Falter During Late Innings In Loss To Mets

2 of 4

Jul 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross (41) throws to the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ross Pitches Well In Return To Rotation

Last night was Joe Ross’ first start in the rotation since June 19 and he gave the team yet another good start. He went 6.1 innings, gave up three runs (two earned runs) on four hits, struck out four, and did not walk a batter on 88 pitches (59 strikes)

Ross had made five starts at triple-A Syracuse before being called up and the common theme in those outings was he never went more than five innings. Tonight, he was able to give the Nats some length, but the seventh inning ended up getting the best of him in the end.

That being said, Ross retired the first nine hitters until Curtis Granderson led off the fourth inning with a base hit. Last night, the 22-year-old had both his fastball and his slider working. According to Brooks Baseball, Ross threw 25 sliders, with 15 of them resulting in strikes.

There were two innings in which Ross ran into a little bit of trouble. In the fourth inning, the 22-year-old right-hander gave up the base hit to Granderson, but the Mets’ right fielder would eventually reach third on a stolen base and a groundout to short by Ruben Tejada. It looked like Ross would get out of the inning when he struck out Daniel Murphy, but Wilmer Flores delivered a two-out RBI single to center to put the Mets on the board. Ross needed 29 pitches to finish the inning, his most pitches he threw in an inning all night.

Then, in the seventh, Ross ran into some bad luck. After a single by Flores, Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a ball that bounced by Clint Robinson at first and into right for a double. The umpire ruled it fair and it was a play that could not be reviewed, but it would have been tough to overturn anyway. Ross stayed in to get Kevin Plawecki to pop up to shallow center, despite the infield being drawn in. However, Aaron Barrett would come in and allow both runs to score on an Eric Campbell single.

Despite getting the loss tonight, Ross showed the same pinpoint control he had in his first three starts and he continued to show that Nats fans can start to rely on him to keep the team in any game that he pitches in.

Next: Ramos Drives In Nats Lone Runs