September 23, 2021

Carig: After ‘waiting for this my whole life,’ Joe Ross didn’t have much time for nerves before his unexpected start (The Athletic)

WASHINGTON — The accidental starter stepped onto the crushed dirt of the warning track about 30 minutes before he was to throw the first pitch in Game 5 of the World Series. Just a few hours before, that responsibility belonged to someone else, the staff ace and the most logical choice, Max Scherzer. Then came a phone call, followed by a text message, and finally upon arrival at the ballpark, the official word. Scherzer couldn’t lift his right arm, so the most pivotal game in the history of the franchise belonged to Joe Ross.

With every step, the rumble from the stands grew louder, the crowd hoping to impart its will onto Ross, the 26-year-old righty who had spent part of the year in the minors. He faced a monumental task against the Astros, this millennium’s answer to the ’27 Yankees. Many had filed into Nationals Park with Scherzer’s No. 31 on their backs, whispering their worries once word spread that an injury would deprive of Scherzer what was…

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