Ross Shows Rare Lack Of Command
The Washington Nationals did get the win last night, but the one negative that stood out about this game was the lack of command from Ross. The 23-year-old right-hander went just four innings, gave up five runs on four hits, struck out five, and walked four in a no-decision.
His four walks were a season high and the most he’s had in a start since September 1, 2015 against the St. Louis Cardinals (six). While Ross did throw 14 first-pitch strikes to the 21 batters that he faced, the pinpoint command he had on his sinker wasn’t there.
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According to Brooks Baseball, only 26 of the 47 sinkers that he threw went for strikes. His worst inning by far was in the first inning when he needed 39 pitches (19 strikes). Ross walked the first two batters before allowing a RBI single to Jose Abreu. Later in the inning, he walked J.B. Shuck with the bases loaded to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
One inning later, Ross got behind in the count on Todd Frazier and the White Sox third baseman made him pay. Frazier crushed a 3-0 sinker to dead center field for a two-run homer to put the White Sox up 5-2.
While Ross should get some credit for keeping the damage at five runs, it was still his worst start of the season by far. Coming into last night, Ross had only 11 walks in six road outings. His ERA away from Nats Park went up from 1.54 to 2.54. Despite last night’s bad outing, I wouldn’t push the panic button on Ross because he was one of the team’s most consistent starters this year.