WASHINGTON -- With a six-year age gap between them, Tyson Ross and Joe Ross did not get the chance to play against each other much growing up. The same has held true in the Majors, where they have both been since 2015, when the younger Joe Ross made his MLB debut for the Nationals. Both have rarely been healthy enough to be on the same field. The two just missed each other in '15 when they pitched on back-to-back days, with Tyson Ross beating the Nats on Aug. 26 and then Joe Ross beating the Padres on Aug. 27.
The three-game set between the Nationals and the Cardinals that began on Monday represents the rare occurrence when both Ross brothers are healthy and on active opposing rosters. Joe Ross was activated from the DL on Tuesday after completing his rehab from Tommy John surgery, while Tyson Ross tossed 1 1/3 innings of one-run relief for the Cardinals that same night.
The two have never faced each other on the mound as opposing pitchers, and Joe Ross will not make his season debut until Friday night vs. the Cubs. But this series is a special moment for them to enjoy.
"It's pretty cool," Joe Ross said. "I got to see him throw yesterday, obviously. ... It was the first time I had seen him in probably about three or four months. It's not very often I get to see him during the season. So, It's cool. I'm sad I missed him by a couple of days, but you can only ask for so much."
The two brothers had last seen each other earlier in the season in Miami when Tyson was still with the Padres, who had a three-game set with the Marlins while Joe Ross was at the Nats' facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., to complete his rehab. They went out for dinner together in D.C. on Monday night, too.
Since that initial close call in 2015, a myriad of injuries have raised questions as to whether the matchup will ever happen. Tyson Ross was injured at the start of '17, recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome, and then Joe Ross needed Tommy John surgery in the summer. Tyson Ross missed nearly all of '16 with a shoulder injury suffered on Opening Day. Joe Ross also spent time on the DL during both of those seasons.
"I was banged up worse than he was and I didn't know if I was going to come back or not," Tyson Ross said.
"We know it's a possibility, hopefully someday. But it hasn't come yet. It'll be fun when it does."