Joe Ross is up to eleven scoreless innings to start the season after he held the St. Louis Cardinals off the board through six this afternoon, following up on a solid start to his ‘21 season last week in LA with another impressive outing in what ended up a 6-0 victory in Busch Stadium for the visiting Washington Nationals, who took 2 of 3 from the Cards in their three-game series.
Ross vs St. Louis: Joe Ross tossed five scoreless against the Dodgers in his 2021 debut, holding opposing hitters to two runs and two walks in a 67-pitch effort in LA, after he’d earned the fifth spot in Washington’s rotation in Spring Training.
Twelve days off after his final appearance in West Palm Beach, Florida and his first regular season outing didn’t seem to bother the right-hander.
“I felt pretty good,” Ross said after the Nationals’ 1-0 loss to the Dodgers. “Been feeling good leading up until now. It’s kind of been a while since I pitched in a game, but the first inning, stayed in the zone, and getting ahead seemed to help, so felt good early on and just tried to carry that throughout the game.”
Ross carried it through to his second outing of the new season today in St. Louis as well, throwing four scoreless on 65 pitches, and giving up just two hits and walk as the visitors jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
Joe Ross, Beautiful 95mph Front Door Two Seamer. pic.twitter.com/RX12b30G9l— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 14, 2021
It was 5-0 in the Nationals’ favor when Ross took the mound in the sixth, and worked around a two-out double by Nolan Arenado for a scoreless 14-pitch frame that ended his outing...
Joe Ross’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 89 P, 63 S, 9/3 GO/FO.
Wainwright vs Washington: Adam Wainwright gave up seven hits and six earned runs in just 2 2⁄3 IP in his 2021 debut, a 56-pitch effort in a 9-6 loss to the Reds, but he bounced back with a strong five-inning outing in start No. 2 of his 16th season in the majors, which saw him give up just five hits and one earned run in a 3-1 win over the Brewers.
Wainwright gave up four of the five hits he allowed, and both of the walks he gave up in the first three innings against Milwaukee.
“The first three innings I felt completely out of sorts,” Wainwright told reporters. “The ball was flat.” But he settled in after that.
Wainwright ran into trouble in the second inning of his third start this afternoon, giving up a one-out walk to Josh Harrison, a double to center by Starlin Castro on a fly Lane Thomas dove for but missed, and an intentional free pass to Yan Gomes that loaded the bases for the Nats’ eight-hitter, Joe Ross, who K’d trying to bunt with two strikes for out No. 2 before Victor Robles K’d swinging to end the threat.
Juan Soto singled with one down in the top of the third, and Ryan Zimmerman stepped in next and battled the Cards’ starter for eight pitches before launching the ninth offering of the at bat to left-center and off the top of the fence into the stands for a two-run home run that put the Nationals up 2-0 early. Zimmerman’s 1st of 2021. #TKCHZ
April 30, 2006: Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Wainwright face each other for the 1st time— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 14, 2021
April 14, 2021: Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Wainwright face each other for the 37th time
What a battle.
What a HR.#Ryanaissance // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/tTyNI7OAEB
Trea Turner doubled on a first-pitch sinker to start the Nationals’ fifth, and scored on a line drive to center off Juan Soto’s bat, and Soto took third on the play, when Cards’ outfielder Lane Thomas misplayed the ball, 3-0.
Soto scored from third on a two-out RBI single by Josh Harrison (2 for 2, BB), 4-0.
Adam Wainwright’s Line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 85 P, 56 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Mr. 2,000: Yadier Molina, the Cardinals’ 38-year-old catcher, now in his 18th major league season, caught his 2,000th game this afternoon, as in started his 2,000th as a catcher.
He’s got 2,036 total games played now overall.
Before the 3rd of 3 in St. Louis, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez shared his thoughts on what an accomplishment that is for a catcher, in particular.
“It’s incredible,” Martinez, a veteran of 16 big league seasons, said. “It really is. The position that they play, catching, is tough as we all know and to get 2000 games in, congratulations to Yadi.
“That’s unbelievable. He’s still got a long way to go in his career, but he’s had an amazing career.”
Yadi makes history!— MLB (@MLB) April 14, 2021
No catcher had ever caught 2,000 games for the same team ... until now. pic.twitter.com/5J3wSQarX5
#TKCHZ!: Ryan Zimmerman started the day 12 for 34, .353/.371/.676, with five doubles, and two home runs off Adam Wainwright in their head-to-head matchups over the years, and Zim started down 0-2 in his second trip to the plate this afternoon, fouled off a few, worked the count full, and hammered a 90 MPH fastball, sending a two-run shot to left-center and off the top of the wall for a 2-run shot and a 2-0 lead.
Bullpen Action: Jordan Hicks was first out of the bullpen for the home team this afternoon, and he gave up a single by Joe Ross and walks to Victor Robles and Trea Turner. Juan Soto hit into a force at second, but Ross scored on the play, 5-0.
Jordan Hicks, Absurd 100mph Sinker. pic.twitter.com/3bsaycsbyM— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 14, 2021
Ryan Helsley worked around a two-out walk by Josh Harrison (2 for 2, 2 BB) in a scoreless top of the seventh.
Sam Clay gave up a one-out walk and a two-out HBP before Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez went to the pen for Tanner Rainey, who came on to face pinch hitter Dylan Carlson, and walked him to load the bases in front of Tommy Edman, who popped out to end the threat and keep it a 5-0 game in the Nationals’ favor.
Giovanny Gallegos gave up a one-out walk to Andrew Stevenson in the eighth, and a wild pitch moved him to second before he scored on a two-out pop-up to center field by Trea Turner that fell in between the Cards’ charging outfielders for an RBI double, 6-0.
Wander Suero (again?) retired the Cardinals in order in a 12-pitch eighth.
Alex Reyes worked around a walk and a wild pitch for a scoreless top of the ninth.
Austin Voth came on to close it out and retired the Cardinals in order. Ballgame.
Final Score: 6-0 Nationals
Nationals now 3-6