Last week, Tyson Ross was able to out duel Giants ace Matt Cain en-route to his second straight victory. The start came after shutting out the Tigers against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. That’s quite impressive, but in his two starts before that, he was less than stellar. Here are the numbers from his first two starts in contrast to his next two.
First two starts: 0-2, 10.1 IP, 4.46 ERA 11 runs (5 earned), 10 hits 9 strikeouts, 9 walks, 1.88 WHIP, 5.20 FIP
Next two starts: 2-0, 15 IP, 0.60 ERA, 1 run, 10 hits, 16 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0.80 WHIP, 1.54 FIP
The difference between the two starts is almost night and day. The biggest thing that jumped out was the walks allowed. In his first two starts he struggled to find the strike zone with any sort of consistency, but pitching 4.2 more innings in his last two starts, he allowed seven fewer walks. Now, one redeeming fact is that more than half of his runs were unearned, but as a pitcher you’re supposed to step up in moments of adversity. He also committed one of the three errors that led to three of his unearned runs. For the more analytical crowd, you can see the dichotomy between his WHIP and FIP is just as enormous as most other stats.
So which pitcher is he? Can he be the top of line starter who can battle with other teams aces, or will he consistently fluctuate between mediocre and great? At the moment, he could be great. However, there’s an equal chance that he’ll revert right back to that form from the first two starts the next time he takes the hill. I think we’ll find out a lot more about him in his next start against, arguably, the hottest team in baseball the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have been hitting pretty much everyone hard, so his ability to combat their hot bats is a good barometer for Ross.
What do you think? How will he pitch as this season progresses?