- Toronto’s Rob Ford takes rehabbed self to kids’ playground for political props
- Sen. Joe Manchin sued by his brother over old loan: report
- New Mexico decides to use HealthCare.gov for 2015
- Satanists to use Hobby Lobby rule to skirt state abortion laws
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- HHS: ‘Donut hole’ reforms saved Medicare enrollees $11.5 billion since 2010
- Boston-area tornado rips 100 homes: ‘Are we in Kansas?’
- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
Detwiler’s ‘terrible’ outing too much for Nationals to overcome in 6-5 loss to O’s
Lefty gives up six runs in five innings
Question of the Day
Ross Detwiler just stood on the back of the mound and stared. His mouth slightly agape, his jaw askew, he seethed. For almost the entirety of Nick Markakis‘ home run trot, Detwiler glared at the right center field seats.
The fastball he threw wasn’t supposed to end up right down the middle, if low. It wasn’t supposed to connect with Markakis‘ bat so well that it was already making its way up multiple rows of seats at Nationals Park just over two seconds after it left his bat.
His look was one of disgust at the job he’d been doing all night. And he was still wearing it hours later, standing at his locker after the Washington Nationals’ 6-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday knowing his performance had cost them the game.
“Give up six in five innings?” Detwiler said. “That’s awful. I put the team in a hole early and they did a great job trying to dig out. It was just too much. … It was just terrible.”
On the same day the Nationals gave him a public vote of confidence by announcing that, when ready to come off the disabled list, right-hander Chien-Ming Wang would go to the bullpen, he became the first Nationals starter to allow six or more runs in a start since Sept. 10, 2011. On a night when his offense scored five runs for just the 12th time in 40 games, Detwiler’s mistakes were simply too many to overcome.
Detwiler struggled to find command of his breaking and offspeed pitches early in the game. He didn’t throw a curveball at all until the fourth inning and didn’t throw one for a strike until later in the frame. Of the 79 pitches he threw, only 16 of them were changeups or curveballs — and only eight of those were for strikes.
It took most of the guesswork out for an Orioles offense that has hit more home runs than any team in the American League.
“It gives them one pitch to sit on,” Detwiler said of how much his lack of command for his other pitches hurt him on a night when he also felt his fastball command was missing. “That’s what they were doing. It’s pretty easy for a big league hitter to time pitching, whether it’s 88 [mph], whether it’s 99. It doesn’t matter.
“If you’re just throwing fastballs, they’re going to hit it.”
Adam Jones and Markakis did just, Jones powering a 1-0 fastball into the seats above the visitors’ bullpen in left field in the third and Markakis adding his in the fifth. Added to Robert Andino’s two-run single in the second, hit off the second changeup Detwiler threw all night, even the Nationals’ work from the fifth inning on to chip away at the lead wouldn’t be enough.
“Our pitching has been great all year and will continue to be great all year,” said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was 3-for-5 and smacked his second home run of the season with two outs in the ninth to bring the Nationals within a run. Adam LaRoche, the team’s best hitter to this point who is having a dreadful series (0-for-9 with a walk and four strikeouts), struck out swinging to end the comeback.
“[Ross] was just getting behind in the count,” Zimmerman added. “And his breaking ball wasn’t really getting over for a strike, either. When you get behind, especially against a team like that that has a bunch of great hitters, they can sit fastball. It’s tough to pitch like that.”
Wang, pitching in Toledo, Ohio, for Triple-A Syracuse, didn’t do much to make Detwiler’s errors more glaring. The right-handed sinkerballer lasted 5 ⅔ innings against the Detroit Tigers’ affiliate, allowing four earned runs off seven hits and three walks.
But it was the second straight start where Detwiler has come away lamenting his issues and regretting his performance. Asked if he felt there were similarities to his previous outing, a game against the Padres in which he went five and allowed four runs before getting pulled in an eventual win, he was blunt. “Just about the same,” he said. “Equally as bad.”
Wang will be allowed to remain on rehab assignment until May 27, and the Nationals, at this point, are unlikely to recant their decision to leave Detwiler, a 26-year-old power lefty who was one of the best pitchers in the league before his past two outings, in the rotation. But that fact didn’t take away the frustration for Detwiler, who has already spent far too much of his career without the results befitting the kind of pitcher he and the Nationals know he can be.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Man killed in plane crash was on anniversary trip
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll - Washington Times#.U9ZSgi7-CXU.twi
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world