December 9, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 68 Review: Rookie Joe Ross Impresses in Win Over Pittsburgh

Rookie pitcher Joe Ross stepped up to help the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Friday night in front of a sold out crowd of 38,935 at Nationals Park while striking out eleven batters in his third Major League start. Ross was consistent through seven and one-third innings pitched. He threw 102 pitched and seventy three strikes while giving up one run on six hits, striking out eleven, and walking one batter.

The Nats offense faced veteran Pirates starter A.J. Burnett and managed to get fourteen hits and four runs against Burnett in the six and two-thirds innings he pitched.

Washington scored early in the first when catcher Wilson Ramos hit  two-RBI double off Burnett with two out.Pittsburgh caught up in the second when third baseman Jung Ho Kang scored on a RBI-single hit by outfielder Gregory Polanco in the second inning making it a 2-1 ballgame.

The Nats are down Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth in their lineup right now but fourteen hits is a positive sign from an offense missing some of their big sluggers.

Third baseman Yunel Escobar scored in the third inning when Ramos hit a RBI single with one out off Burnett and outfielder Clint Robinson scored in the seventh inning when shortstop Danny Espinosa hit a RBI-triple with two out giving Washington a 4-1 lead while the Nats pitching staff held strong.

Relievers David Carpenter and Drew Storen threw one and two-third innings of shutout work while striking out two batters to beat the Pirates.

HERO: Joe Ross. He’s made a positive impression upon Manager Matt Williams and the Washington coaching staff for his aggressive performances  in his time with the big league club. Williams expressed his confidence in Ross no matter the role he plays on the Nats pitching staff moving forward.

GOAT: If anything… The Nats offense for stranding fourteen base runners. They left the bases loaded twice.

NATS NOTES:

  • Storen recorded his twentieth save of the season.
  • Harper did some leg work today. He’s being monitored day-to-day.
  • Werth shagged some balls with his glove hand today. That’s big for him toward moving along to a recovery.

NEXT UP: Francisco Liriano (4-5, 2.94) and the Pittsburgh Pirates face Max Scherzer (7-5, 1.93) and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. at 4:05 p.m.

About Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. For the past five seasons, she was credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals as an author for We Love DC. During her time spent with WLDC, Rachel composed game stories, covered off-the-field special events, and chronicled both of the Nats’ recent playoff runs. In addition to her work with WLDC, Rachel’s writing has been featured in the Washington Examiner and on MASNSports.com where she has been a featured guest blogger for the Nationals Buzz blog since 2011. Her love for baseball stems from having grown up on the north side of Chicago and falling in love with the sport’s history as a result of growing up just minutes from Wrigley Field. Rachel moved to DC in 2005 and has been following along with the Nats since their inaugural season. You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RHLevitin.

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