Joe Ross made his return to the Nats, but Mother Nature washed it away

Josh Luckenbaugh
September 08, 2018 - 9:59 am

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Friday night was supposed to mark Joe Ross's return to the Nationals rotation after over a year away recovering from Tommy John surgery. But Mother Nature had other ideas.

The Nats activated Ross on Sept. 4 after the right-hander made six rehab starts at various levels of Washington's minor league system. The team announced that same day he would start on Friday against the Cubs, his first MLB start since July 9, 2017. 

Rain delayed the start of Friday's game for over an hour, forcing Ross to wait even longer to make his return to the mound. However, the storm eventually (and momentarily) subsided, and Ross began his start by pitching against a familiar face

Ross's fastball velocity, the dipping of which last season was the first sign something was wrong with his arm, looked better than ever before in the first inning, Ross repeatedly touching 96-97 miles per hour. 

Ross worked around an Anthony Rizzo bloop single and an HBP of Kris Bryant to record a scoreless first frame, and came out for the second inning ready to keep it going. However, that's when the rain began to pick up again. 

The second delay lasted long into the night until MLB officially postponed the game, washing out Ross's work in the first and second innings. The game will be made up as part of a double-header Saturday, in which Ross will more than likely not participate. 

Nonetheless, Ross showed positive signs that he's fully recovered from the torn UCL that sidelined him for so long, and should continue to get opportunities to pitch until the end of the season.

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