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Hypothetical recap: Nationals win the battle of the Ross brothers

Joe Ross is better than Tyson Ross. Nationals are better than Giants. More at 11.

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”


I’ve been a Joe Ross fan for his whole career, for probably the silliest reason. I paid attention to that one first good Tyson Ross season, when he made the All-Star team in 2014. I just assumed he was a really good pitcher (a silly, baseless assumption), and then assumed that his younger brother would naturally be an even better pitcher (a sillier, even more baseless assumption).

Older brother got even better in 2015, and then immediately fell off an injury-riddled cliff. Younger brother showed promise, and then followed older brother’s footsteps.

Both are fighting for their spot in the league. Tyson is working out of the Giants bullpen, trying to prove he’s still an MLB talent, and potentially even a starter. But he’s 33 and has been worth a combined -0.3 rWAR over the last four years.

Joe is in a more stable position, as he’s just 26 and opens the year as the Washington Nationals fifth starter. But the 4.59 FIP he posted a year ago was his best mark since 2016, which isn’t exactly what World Series contenders — or any teams — are looking for.

So the pressure is on each. And on a blissfully lovely Friday night in San Francisco, the brothers both pitched in the same MLB game for the first time in their careers. So that was pretty cool.

They both pitched well! Joe pitched more meaningfully, though, since he started the game. He held the Giants to 2 runs over 6 innings, before turning things over to a suspect bullpen that’s been suspect for a while, which I only mention because they cut Trevor Gott before last season. Which reminds me that the Baltimore Orioles purposely got rid of Mike Yastrzemski (who went 2-4 on the night) last season as well.

What are y’all doing. Like, seriously.

Anyway, Joe was good, and a little better than Drew Smyly, who gave up 3 runs (2 earned — a rare Brandon Crawford error!) in 5 innings, and then Tyson took over in mid-relief, and pitched 2 innings of 1-run ball while striking out 4.

That was all the scoring — the Nats won 4-2, which seemed fitting, because they are better than the Giants. They did it with a Ross brother who was better than the other Ross brother, in a more important role.

In conclusion, the Giants are 11-15, the Nationals are the defending champs, the 49ers didn’t have any picks today, and the Warriors missed the playoffs.

But at least it’s Friday.