MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Ross hoping to help 'any way I can' in NLDS

Starter tosses 90 pitches in four innings in third start since coming off DL

Ross hoping to help 'any way I can' in NLDS

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Joe Ross made in his third start since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 18. This time he threw 90 pitches in four innings in a 5-3 victory over the D-backs on Thursday at Nationals Park and left the game with a no-decision.

Ross didn't like the fact that he threw so many pitches in the game. Twelve of those pitches were to the first hitter of the game, second baseman Jean Segura.

"What kind of messed [Ross] up was Segura's first at-bat. It almost took a whole inning off him," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That was some at-bat by a great player."

Baker on Ross and the win

Ross said he didn't have any problems with his shoulder, and he is ready to pitch in the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.

"I was kind of nibbling around the zone," Ross said. "Other than that, I thought I was throwing well. I didn't give myself a chance to go later in the game."

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Ross will spend the rest of the regular season having extended bullpen sessions. Baker is not sure if Ross will get a start or come out of in the bullpen during the NLDS. As Baker puts it, "They are playing it by ear."

Ross hopes to get the opportunity to start against the Dodgers, but he will do whatever the team wants him to do.

"I will take any chance out there to pitch, compete. I really want to help any way I can," Ross said.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.