Friday, June 17, 2016

Ross battles former team in faceoff with Friedrich

Joe Ross takes the mound for the Nationals against the Padres on Friday night, marking just the second time Ross has thrown against his former team since being traded at the end of 2014. Christian Friedrich will take the ball for San Diego.
Ross threw six innings of one-run ball against the Padres last season and has been solid for the Nationals in 12 starts this year, posting a 3.01 ERA. However, his numbers month-by-month might indicate some cause for concern. In April, Ross posted a 0.79 ERA and followed that up with a 3.32 ERA in May. In his two starts in June, he's allowed a eight earned runs in 11 innings -- a 6.55 ERA.
Friedrich, on the other hand, has been solid since his start against the Dodgers on May 20 when he lasted just 3 1/3 innings. Since then, Friedrich has allowed just five earned runs in 24 2/3 innings over four starts for a 1.82 ERA.
The 28-year-old lefty will look to be more efficient with his pitches and work deeper on Friday, though, as he's thrown seven full innings just once this season.
Things to know about this game
• Entering Thursday, the Padres had a .281 team batting overage over their last 20 games. That mark is the fourth-best in the Majors over that period and comes in contrast with the .240 team batting average San Diego posted over the first month.
• The last time Ross pitched against the Padres, he faced Yangervis Solarte, Melvin Upton Jr., Alexi Amarista and Travis Jankowski. Those four combined to go 0-for-9 against him with four strikeouts.
• Bryce Harper has had success in Petco Park -- a .476 average with three home runs -- but has struggled in his six at-bats against Friedrich. He has just one hit (a .167 average) with three strikeouts in those matchups.

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