The Washington Times - July 8, 2009, 07:08PM

Just checking in with a quick blog post from the back of my cab on the way to the airport—gotta love the marvels of modern technology. You do not, however, have to love the way Ross Detwiler pitched today.

The rookie gave up six runs in four-plus innings in a 10-4 loss to the Rockies this afternoon, struggling less with the release point on his fastball as with the control of his curveball. Seventy-seven of his 89 pitches were fastballs, some of which were up in the strike zone. That combination, from all sides, isn’t going to get it done against major-league hitters, especially against a sneaky good Rockies lineup.

SEE RELATED:


“He had no command of any of his pitches,” manager Manny Acta said. “I don’t know if he was intimidated by the altitude. He didn’t throw enough breaking balls. That’s a big pitch for him, his curveball. Perhaps he didn’t feel like he could throw it for strikes, but you still need to throw it and see if you can get a feel for it.”

The question now, of course, is whether this will be Detwiler’s last outing in the big leagues for a while. He has an 11.67 ERA in his last three starts, coming after an impressive seven-inning outing against the Blue Jays on June 20, and both Collin Balester and Garrett Mock have been impressive lately at Class AAA Syracuse.

The original plan for Detwiler was to bring him up for a spot start and send him back to Syracuse — remember, he was still fiddling with mechanics when the Nationals called him up in May. But Scott Olsen’s shoulder tendinitis helped keep Detwiler in the majors, and at times, he’s looked ready to stay there.

But not lately. His mechanics have been inconsistent for most of the last month. Afterward, Acta wouldn’t opine on whether Detwiler should stay in the major leagues.

“That’s not my decision here,” Acta said. “I get these guys, I get them ready to play and I play them. We all knew this kid was not going to cruise here. He was pitching in A ball last year, so we have to take that into consideration.”

Whatever the Nats’ decision, it wouldn’t have to come until after the All-Star break. Detwiler isn’t scheduled to pitch again until after the break, which would give the team time to reset its rotation for the second half and decide whether to send the left-hander down.

That’s all I’ve got from Denver. Next up is a four-games-and-change series in Houston, which begins tomorrow night when the Nationals and Astros finish the 10-10, 11-inning game that got suspended at Nationals Park in May. Plenty of statistical oddities to pore over in this one—like the possibility of Joel Hanrahan getting hte win and Sean Burnett showing up in box scores for two different teams in games that started on May 5.

But we’ll get into those tomorrow. Talk to you then.