After a dreadful start to his 2019 campaign, Washington Nationals’ starter Joe Ross has been just what the Nationals needed the past two weeks.
After an awful appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 27, Washington Nationals’ starter Joe Ross had a 9.85 ERA for the 2019 season. The starter, turned reliever, back to starter never seemed to be able to find his groove in either role, and many questioned if his time in Washington was nearing an end.
Ross was recalled from AAA when Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer hit the IL for the second time with a back injury. Now no one expected Ross to come in and replace Scherzer’s production, but with the Nationals entering a tough part of their schedule, they needed Ross to be at least a serviceable starter.
In his first two appearances back in the big leagues he was anything but that. Ross gave up 10 runs in 9.2 innings of work, and the Nationals lost 7-1 and 7-3 in those two games.
On August 2, Ross got another shot to start in Arizona. On a short leash, if Ross struggled once again, it seemed as if Washington may have moved onto another option. With the odds stacked against him, the 26-year-old pitched a very solid game. Ross tossed 5.1 innings of scoreless ball, helping lead the Nationals to a 3-1 victory.
His next start in San Francisco was even better. Ross threw six innings of dominant, scoreless baseball, leading the Nationals to a series sweep with a 4-1 win. That takes us to last night as Ross was set to take on the Cincinnati Reds.
Two solid starts in a row can be a fluke, but if Ross could replicate his performance three times in a row, it would be a trend, and he did just that. Ross dominated the Reds going 6.2 innings allowing just one run. His sinker sat 94-96 all night and was downright nasty at times.
With his 17 innings of scoreless baseball, Ross now holds the longest scoreless innings streak out of any pitcher on the 2019 Nationals. In a rotation with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, that is extremely impressive.
Every team that makes a deep postseason run always has one player come out of nowhere to make a huge impact down the stretch. For the Washington Nationals, Joe Ross may be that guy. If he is able to keep pitching like this, no one is going to want to face the Nats if they can qualify for the postseason.