Robbie Ross struggles again in another start
By David Cash
Arlington – The Texas Rangers looked pretty good in Houston last week when Robbie Ross took to the mound. They were hoping for a repeat performance out of the lefty last night, but ended up getting the exact opposite.
In case you don’t remember, Robbie Ross Jr. was recalled the night before he pitched in Houston because the scheduled starter Miles Mikolas was scratched because he was suffering a bit of fatigue in his right shoulder.
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During the Houston game Ross went 5.0 innings on 70 pitches. He left with a no-hitter on the line and became just the 6th Texas Ranger pitcher to exit with a no-hitter going. Ross was pulled because he had thrown 42 pitches with the Rangers minor league team on Thursday. Robbie Ross tried to get manager Ron Washington to leave him in, but Wash was more concerned about the health of his arm than the status of the game. And really, who can blame Wash for pulling Ross. It was the right call.
Last night was another opportunity for Robbie Ross to make a bid to be a starter in 2015. From the looks of his previous start it appeared that he was well on his way to at least making his name on the list during spring training.
Even though Robbie Ross gave up a lead off single to Austin Jackson he was able to retire the next three batters. After a pretty good first inning the second inning started to look the same way. He was able to retire Ranger killer Kyle Seager and then Corey Hart. That made it 5 in a row retired by Ross, but that would be the last out he’d record for the night.
After the two outs in the second Ross gave up back-to-back walks to Chris Denorfia and Chris Taylor. Then a single by Jesus Sucre tacked on the first run. Greg Maddux took a quick visit to the mound to calm down the left, but his troubles would continue. Ross tried to go back to his fastball, but Austin Jackson hit it for another single which tacked on another run.
Things continued to snowball on Robbie Ross and before he knew it he had allowed 6 consecutive batters to reach base and was charged for 5-earned runs. After that Ron Washington had seen enough and it seems like the fans had also.
Ross only managed to work 1.2 innings while giving up 5 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks and didn’t manage to strikeout anyone. He’s worked hard to lower his ERA this season, but after his horrible outing yesterday ballooned it back up to 6.25.
After the game Ross commented about his poor outing.
"“The frustrating part was having an outing like I had in Houston and then having this one,” Ross said. “It didn’t help. Obviously I wanted to [build] on the good game in Houston but it didn’t happen.” (T.R. Sullivan – MLB.com)"
It was pretty tough watching Robbie Ross struggle. He’s shown signs of improvement all season long and has worked hard in the minors to work through his command issues. The Rangers have given him plenty of opportunities to be a starter this season. It does appear that Ross won’t likely be a starter for the Rangers. He might get another chance, but it appears more likely he’ll be sent to the bullpen.
Ross has had some very good moments in his time in the majors. Hopefully he’ll continue to work hard and figure out how to solve his command issues with secondary pitches. That seems to be the key issue with Robbie Ross. Since he’s unable to mix up his pitches, he has to fall back on his fastball and hitters are then able to figure him out quicker. If he’s put back in a bullpen role he might be able to focus on his fastball and just a few of his secondary pitches to get him through an inning of work.