A mechanical flaw helped lead to the undoing of Tyson Ross on Wednesday as he allowed six first-inning runs to the Toronto Blue Jays in his second start of the season.
It was also just his second MLB start in 14 months, a significant stretch no matter how experienced he was before missing almost all of last season and the first two months of 2017 because of injury.
Ross was able to make an adjustment and recover to allow only one run over his final two innings. The Texas Rangers right-hander worked on it extensively the past five days ahead of his start Tuesday.
However, he’s still playing catch-up on the time he missed and searching for the rhythm and feel he had the three seasons before being felled by thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016 and slowed by back spasms this year as he recovered from an October operation.
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“I’m definitely missing out on all those reps from last year,” said Ross, who allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings June 16 in his season debut. “It’s just a big gap in time without playing.
“There’s a negative and a positive to that. I’m definitely fresh and my body’s feeling good, but all the reps and experience in-game I missed out on. I know baseball and pitching. It’s just a matter of going out there and pitching.”
Ross said that he isn’t concerned he will need much time to, in essence, learn how to ride a bike again. Every start he made with the San Diego Padres was a learning experience, and the knowledge base is there.
He just needs an occasional refresher, and every pitch and every at-bat — good or bad — helps reach into his baseball memory bank.
“That’s one of the things I love about this game,” Ross said. “You can take your licks on the chin and wake up the next day, go back to work, and five days later as a starter you’re ready to go again.”