Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Joe Ross Loses Command In Loss To Dodgers

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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After scoring 32 runs in their previous five games, the Washington Nationals were held off the scoreboard by Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers by a final score of 5-0. It appeared to be a mismatch on paper as the Nats’ 22-year-old rookie, Joe Ross was trying to hold his own against one of the favorites, if not the favorite, for the NL Cy Young award.

While it wasn’t good news for the Nationals on the field last night, the fans had a slight scare and held their collective breaths before the game. A couple hours before first pitch, manager Matt Williams scratched Bryce Harper’s name out of the lineup due to soreness in his left knee. Harper’s spot out in right field would be filled by Clint Robinson, who did go 2-for-4 last night. As for Harper, his knee is still swollen and it is still unknown as to when Harper will return to the lineup.

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On the mound, Ross did pitch well at times, but he did not have the same pinpoint command as he usually does. Ross had four walks in his first seven starts of the season coming into last night. Agianst the Dodgers, he walked four batters and he was not able to get Yasiel Puig out. The Dodgers’ right fielder hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and drove in all five runs in the win.

With 50 games left in the regular season, the Nats are now 2.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East and they can ill afford to have Harper miss any more games as the team tries to make their final push towards the postseason.

Before Jordan Zimmermann takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight (10:10 PM ET, MASN) in the rubber game of this three game series, here are my takeaways from last night’s 5-0 Nats loss:

Next: Ross' Control Takes Step Back

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