The Washington Times - August 4, 2011, 04:38PM

DENVER — A little less than a week ago, the Nationals traded away one of their starting pitchers, Jason Marquis, and eased a logjam in the rotation some. Marquis was lit up in his first start for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, allowing 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four innings against the San Francisco Giants. His replacement, at least logistically, in the Nationals rotation pitches tonight.

Starting a major league game is not new for Ross Detwiler. He’s done it 20 times already his career. But it might be remiss to notice that this one might be different. This one might be the start of one of the most prolonged major league opportunities Detwiler has gotten with the Nationals. 

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He’ll be the first of what is expected to be several young arms getting a chance to prove they belong at this level as the Nationals play the final two months of their season. For Detwiler, it’s a chance to prove that the Nationals first-round pick in 2007 was not wasted on him — nor has their patience with him in the years since.

“I’m just going to try and attack it one start at a time,” Detwiler said earlier this week. “I know it sounds pretty cliche but that’s really the only way to do it. I know Colorado’s a good hitting team and obviously it’s in their home stadium so I think it’s going to be a pretty big step to have it there.”

Detwiler pitched in Coors Field in 2009 and it wasn’t exactly kind to the then 23-year-old. Detwiler went four innings, allowed eight hits and six earned runs in a 10-4 Nationals loss.

“It didn’t go very well,” he admitted. “But I didn’t think all the myths about Colorado (were a part), I didn’t find that bad. I thought it was a really big field.”

Detwiler will be hoping that he’s more effective this time around — and that the seemingly sizzling offense behind him can continue their surge in the thin Colorado air. 

Here are the full lineups behind Detwiler and Rockies’ right-hander Esmil Rogers:

Nationals:

Rick Ankiel CF
Danny Espinosa 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Laynce Nix LF
Ian Desmond SS
Wilson Ramos C
Ross Detwiler P

Rockies:

Eric Young LF
Dexter Fowler CF
Todd Helton 1B
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Ty Wigginton 3B
Chris Nelson 2B 
Ryan Spilborghs RF
Chris Iannetta C
Esmil Rogers P