Ross Stubs His Toe
It was a “Battle of The Bros” on the mound Monday night as Washington Nationals starter Joe Ross — who has been hot as fish grease in his first starts of the season — met St. Louis Cardinals ace, Jack Flaherty.
The anticipated pitcher’s duel never got going, however, as Ross was down 3-0 by the third inning and went on to surrender 10 runs and four homers in 4.1 innings of work.
That’s the beauty of baseball. It’s totally unpredictable.
Ross had not given up a run in 11 innings of masterful work this season, but the Cardinals had his number something terrible.
Flaherty Makes Nats Fold
The St. Louis Cardinals were one of those maybe teams entering the 2021 season. Certain things have to fall into place for them to ascend to the top of a very wide-open NL Central. The development and continued success of their 25-year-old Black Knights — outfielder Justin Williams and workhorse Flaherty — will be key to that goal.
So far, Flaherty has been the ace required. He’s 3-0 in four starts and has 21K’s in 21 innings pitched. His 3.80 ERA is super solid. In the last 17 innings, Flaherty has surrendered just three earned runs and he’s distinguishing himself as the rival candidate to Marcus Stroman as the best Black ace in the league.
On Monday, he went a solid 6 innings and only gave up two earned. Flaherty’s previous career-high in wins is 11. If he continues to deal in this fashion, he will surpass that and the Cardinals will be in the mix.
As far as the Cardinals record books go, Flaherty recorded his 500th career K in the third inning, making him the fastest in Cardinals history to reach that plateau.
— STL Sports Central (@stlsportscntrl) April 20, 2021
The Cards are 8-8 and in the thick of things, just 1.5 games behind the Reds, who have a long way to go if they want the rest of the baseball world to believe they are true contenders.
Justin Williams In The Building
While Flaherty continues to build his St. Louis legend, outfielder Justin Williams is starting to figure things out. He had a “welcome to the league” game on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with a missile launched into the red seats.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 20, 2021
The multi-talented baller was the No. 52 overall pick (2nd round) in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamonds and seems to be finally turning a corner. Williams is torching cats over the last seven games, batting .333 with two homers, 6 RBI and slugging .619. Looks like a volcano, almost a decade brewing, is about to erupt in St. Louis.
Unfortunately, Flaherty’s win was at the expense of fellow Brown-Mounder Joe Ross, who came back down to earth after a string of impressive starts.
Joe Ross through 5 innings against the 2020 World Series Champs LA Dodgers
He’s back ? pic.twitter.com/ux8LdMgrmL
— Talkin Nats (@TalkinNats) April 9, 2021
A lights-out pitcher’s duel would have made a better story, but nonetheless, it was classic to see two MLBbros going head to head. It’s a sight that we need more of in MLB and definitely something that should be noted every time it happens.