Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/8/12

On Friday night, most of the Boston Red Sox will get their first up-close look at Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.

Cody Ross predicts they will be impressed.

Ross, sidelined for the past few weeks while recovering from a fracture in his left foot, faced Strasburg in on July 9, 2010, as a member of the San Francisco Giants. He recalled that the Giants were sure they would be able to rough up Strasburg, who was making only his seventh major league start.

"You know how you are as a team. You're like, 'We're going to light him up,'" Ross told the Boston Herald on Thursday. "Didn't happen."

Instead, Strasburg allowed one run on three hits in six innings in an 8-1 Nationals victory. Ross went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts and came away with firsthand evidence that the hype was very deserved.

Shortly thereafter, Strasburg underwent Tommy John elbow surgery. He returned late last season, and in 11 starts this year, the 23-year-old right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 65 innings.

"He was locating his fastball at 98 to 100 (mph), and his curveball was ridiculous," Ross said. "He was as good as everyone talked about, if not better. There's a lot of guys that throw upper-90s to 100 that you can light up because they don't locate the ball. He locates his heater in and out. He's just different than most."

With Ross out of the lineup, the only other Red Sox players who have faced Strasburg are outfielders Marlon Byrd (1-for-3, RBI) and Scott Podsednik (0-for-4, two strikeouts).

"I don't recall facing a guy that had as much hype as he did coming in, and I don't recall him disappointing," Podsednik said. "We're going to have to come up with a sound game plan against this guy. When a guy like that makes a mistake over the plate, you can't miss it."

The Red Sox didn't miss many offerings from Orioles lefty Brian Matusz on Thursday, rolling to a 7-0 win that allowed them to salvage the finale of a three-game series.

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