Jul 21, 2015, 3:28 PM EST
Joe Ross wasn’t on many people’s radar screens when the season began, but then the young right-hander made his major-league debut last month and wowed everybody with three impressive performances before he was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. Now, the 22-year-old is back in D.C., called up to take Stephen Strasburg’s rotation spot and start a big game tonight against the Mets.
Ross is going up against another impressive young right-hander in Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year and fresh off a dominant performance in last week’s All-Star Game (10 pitches, 3 strikeouts). The Nats actually have had some success against deGrom; he’s 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in three career head-to-head matchups, both losses coming earlier this season.
Updates to come, so please check back…
NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Weather: Chance of storms, 87 degrees, Wind 7 mph out to RF
CF Michael Taylor
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Bryce Harper
3B Yunel Escobar
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
LF Matt den Dekker
RHP Joe Ross
RF Curtis Granderson
SS Ruben Tejada
3B Daniel Murphy
1B Lucas Duda
2B Wilmer Flores
LF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
C Kevin Plawecki
RHP Jacob deGrom
CF Juan Lagares
HP Mike Muchlinski
1B Mark Wegner
2B Marty Foster
3B Mike Winters (cc)
7:05 p.m. — We are underway on a 91-degree (but clear) evening at Nationals Park. Joe Ross gets a nice ovation from the crowd as he takes the mound.
7:20 p.m. — Both pitchers went 1-2-3 in the first inning. Ross retired the side on 10 pitches, getting some help from Ian Desmond on a nice backhanded play in the hole and strong throw to first to get Daniel Murphy. DeGrom, meanwhile, was dominant out of the chute, striking out both Michael Taylor and Danny Espinosa on nine pitches (all strikes). Bryce Harper did battle through a 10-pitch at-bat before flying out to right. Scoreless through one.
7:34 p.m. — Don’t look now, but Desmond is 3 for his last 4 after sending a sharp single through the left side of the infield in the bottom of the second, the Nats’ first hit off deGrom tonight. That’s their only hit so far, which is one more than the Mets have in two innings off Ross.
7:46 p.m. — Make it 9 up, 9 down for Ross, who has picked up right where he left off the last time he was up here. Not to be outdone, deGrom has faced the minimum through three scoreless innings. Looks like we may have a real humdinger brewing here. Scoreless through three.
8:10 p.m. — So much for perfection from Ross. The Mets scratched out a run off him in the top of the fourth, with Granderson singling to center to lead off the inning, then stealing second (though Wilson Ramos’ double-clutch before throwing might have been the difference). With Granderson on third and one out, Ross got a big strikeout of Murphy. But then he plunked Lucas Duda and served up an RBI single up the middle to Wilmer Flores. So the Mets lead 1-0 after four.
8:27 p.m. — As Wilson Ramos stepped to the plate with two outs and a man on third in the bottom of the fifth just now, CSN cameraman Greg Abernathy turned to me and said: “Homer. Opposite field.” And wouldn’t you know it, The Buffalo obliged. The Nats have taken a 2-1 lead after five innings, and Abernathy is now putting money down on next year’s Kentucky Derby.
Chase here taking over while Mark works on his game story
8:40 p.m. — Both pitchers cruised through the sixth inning to set down each lineup 1-2-3. Ross needed only nine pitches and sits at 78 on the night. deGrom used only seven and has 82. It is still 2-1 Nats with the seventh inning up next.
9:08 p.m. — The Mets now lead 3-2 after the seventh inning as Ross ran into some trouble and Aaron Barrett couldn’t stop the bleeding. Ross allowed a leadoff single to Forles and Niewenhuis reached on a Robinson error. One out later, and Barrett was summoned from the bullpen. He quickly gave up a single to a pinch-hitting Eric Campbell to score both runners. The Nats then couldn’t get much of anything going in the bottom half of the inning. Felipe Rivero got the final out of the seventh and will now pitch the eighth.
9:25 p.m. — On to the ninth we go with the Mets still up 3-2. Rivero got through the eighth despited allowing two baserunners. The Nats then got nothing going against reliever Bobby Parnell. Tanner Roark will now take over to pitch the top of the ninth.
9:59 p.m. — Roark came in and allowed three runs before rookie Abel de los Santos allowed an RBI single to Flores to make it 7-2. The Nats couldn’t respond in the ninth and they have lost. They fall to 50-42 on the season.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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