SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Robbie Ross Jr. #46 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 25, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Call it a bit of a stroke of good fortune, or call it a purposeful pitch to induce a double play. Hell, call it whatever you want, but to Robbie Ross Jr., the second of his two pitches he threw in Wednesday's Rangers win was a big weight off his shoulders and moving forward in his new, old role.
Ross entered the game in the seventh inning after starter Nick Tepesch had gotten one out before getting into trouble with back-to-back walks after Ron Washington had come to the mound after the first one and decided to leave Tepesch in the game. After the second walk, Washington had seen enough and went to Ross with runners on first and second, one out and a 4-3 lead.
Ross could've easily been distracted and not settled into the routine of being a high-leverage reliever after starting on Saturday against Toronto — his final start of the year.
But after a ball on his first pitch to pinch-hitter Stefen Romero, Ross threw a nice, low pitch and got a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who stepped on third and threw across the diamond for an inning-ending double play.
Ross had a pretty intense fist pump as he walked off the field — day over after two pitches, and success.
It was good to see from a guy that has been a great reliever for the past two years but just couldn't cut it as a starter. And more importantly, it was huge for his confidence as well as Washington's in his young lefty.