The Washington Nationals wrap up Grapefruit League action this afternoon in sunny Ft. Myers, Florida’s JetBlue Park with Joe Ross on the mound for the Nationals against the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 PM EDT.
It’s radio-only this afternoon with the Sox feed from WEEI 850 if you want to follow the action.
After today, and weather permitting, (don’t look at the forecast), the Nationals will play two more with the Red Sox, one in Nationals Park tomorrow afternoon and one in Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis, MD on Saturday, before Opening Day in D.C. on Monday.
But first things first. Joe Ross takes the mound for the fifth time this Spring after he put up a 2.70 ERA (4 ER in 13 1⁄3 IP) in the previous four outings, giving up 12 hits and three walks while striking out 11 and holding opposing hitters to a .231 AVG.
It will be the first Grapefruit League start for Ross since March 18th, though he did go and throw a minor league start in-between outings as the 23-year-old prepares himself for the beginning of his third major league campaign.
In his last Grapefruit League outing, Ross gave up six hits, a walk and four runs, two earned, in a start against the Houston Astros. He told reporters afterwards that he feels good this Spring as he continues to refine his mechanics and works towards his first start this season.
“It’s going well,” Ross said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“I feel like every game I’ve been feeling more comfortable on the mound. I felt good last game. I felt really good today, just being able to repeat and stuff like that. If I can keep that going, I should be pretty good for the start of the season, I think.”
Here’s the lineup Dusty Baker is sending out behind Ross this afternoon (Hey, look! Daniel Murphy is playing!):
NOTE: As mentioned above, this afternoon’s Grapefruit League finale is available from MLB.com’s GameDay audio, and it’s the feed from Boston if you plan on listening in.