The Nationals send Joe Ross to the hill for his 12th start against Cardinal’s Left-handed prospect Marco Gonzalez. The originally scheduled pitcher was Carlos Martinez. But, he was scratched with a sore neck.
Ross and his 3.24 ERA compares favorably to Martinez who had 10 MLB appearances last year, pitching to a 4.15 ERA. Neither of the teams has a single player that has faced the opposing pitcher. Look for the second time through the lineup to be all-important tonight. The San Francisco Giants were completely throttled during Ross’ first time through. The second time turned the experience into a “Tale of Two Cities.” That knife will cut both ways tonight.
Speaking of Ross, Matt Williams is hinting that he might not be shut down on an innings limit after all. “It’s an interesting scenario because he hasn’t been hurt. It’s not like he has had an injury and we are cautious in that regard,” Williams said. “It’s uncharted territory because he hasn’t [pitched a lot of innings]. But looking how he has gone about it, all indications are that he is fine.” The determining factor may well be whether the Nats are still relevant in the Division race later in the month.