Washington Nationals: Ross Falters Early In Loss To Red Sox


While there were some discouraging aspects of Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Nationals have a lot to be happy about.

Going into Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Nationals projected starting rotation (Max ScherzerStephen StrasburgTanner RoarkGio Gonzalez, and Joe Ross) had thrown 14 and 2/3 innings without giving up a single run.  This impressive streak ended in the top of the first inning after Ross surrendered back-to-back homers to Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez.

Ross struggled early and could not get much movement from his highly touted slider.  This led to Ross throwing some very hittable pitches to a potent Red Sox lineup.

Ross also struggled with his efficiency, throwing 58 pitches in just 2 and 2/3 innings.  During an in-game interview, pitching coach Mike Maddux said the goal was for Ross to get through three innings today, but he was not quite able to make it that far.

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Once Ross’ day was over, Mike Broadway was called on to finish the third inning.  Following Broadway in the fourth was bullpen hopeful, Vance Worley.

Worley began his less than stellar inning with two straight walks and got himself into a jam right away.  By the end of the inning, Worley had given up three runs on two hits and two walks.  Worley has struggled quite a bit this spring and currently has an ERA of 7.50.  He will have to improve quickly if he wants to have any shot at making the opening day roster.

The most impressive takeaway from Tuesday’s game was Koda Glover‘s spotless sixth inning.

Glover came in to face three quality big league hitters in Mitch MorelandChris Young, and Jackie Bradley, and struck out the side.  Glover’s fastball touched 95 mph and all of his pitches had lots of movement, making him near impossible to hit.

The 23-year-old reliever has done nothing but help his case as a potential closer this spring.  He has thrown three shutout innings, and seven of his nine outs have been strikeouts.  Glover looks like he will be able to build on his great 2016 season.

Some position players who made a big impact on the game are Trea TurnerAnthony Rendon, and Derek Norris.

Turner continued his hot spring with a 1-for-3 day at the plate.  He ripped an opposite field single in the fifth inning and then showcased his impressive speed by stealing second base easily.

Finally, Derek Norris continued his remarkable spring by going 1-2 and scoring a run.  He had a good offensive day, but made the play of the day in the third inning.

Mookie Betts attempted to steal second on a wide slider from Mike Broadway and Norris was able to scoop it and throw Betts out from his knees.  While Norris is not particularly known for his defense, this was easily a Gold Glove-caliber play.  He has had a great spring, amid rumors of him possibly being traded or even released.  Norris is currently hitting .444 with a home run and two RBI’s and has done a lot to boost his trade value.

Next: Future Contract Deferrals Will Sting Nats

The Nats weren’t able to get the win on Tuesday against the Red Sox, but you have to keep in mind that the results of these games don’t matter.  The thing that does matter is that for the most part, everyone is healthy and getting good work in.  The Nats are having a good spring so far and this should lead to success in the regular season.