Posts Tagged ‘Ross Detwiler’
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
“It was a tough night, tough night,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Johnson said of Washington’s disappointing 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Johnson’s words reflected not simply the team’s latest inability to score runs, but a rash of in-game injuries — to lefty starter Ross Detwiler (who left with back tightness after the third inning) and catcher Wilson Ramos, who reinjured his hamstring and left the game in the top of the 4th inning.
Wednesday night’s loss to the Dodgers left the Nationals at just two games over .500, and allowed Los Angeles to take the three game series. The problem for Washington (aside from the two injuries) continued to be the team’s inability to drive in runs: the Nats’ stroked nine hits in Wednesday’s loss, but left 16 runners on base.
For L.A., the big story of the night was the return of Zack Greinke, who took the mound after more than four weeks on the disabled list. Greinke pitched five complete innings in notching his second win on the season. “I thought my stuff was pretty good,” he said after the victory. “My stamina needs to grow a little bit, but that could be next start.”
While there’s no doubt that Greinke pitched well, the Nationals had several opportunities to knock him out of the game — but were unable to capitalize. Before leaving the game, Wilson Ramos got on base in both of his at-bats, but was left stranded his teammates. The only Washington score in the early going (and all night) came in a home run off the bat of Adam LaRoche, his fourth of the season.
The only piece of good news for the Nationals was the continued brilliant relief pitching of Craig Stammen who came in after Detwiler left the game and kept the Dodgers scoreless in three innings of work. Stammen has been the best pitcher in the Washington bullpen and lowered his ERA to 2.25 on the year.
The best chance to win the game for the Nationals came in the 8th inning, when the Nationals had runners on first and third with nobody out but weren’t able to push across a run. “We had the right guys up there,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if we are trying to do too much instead of just hitting the ball and putting it in play. I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out.”
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: It’s amazing but true — after losing two of three in L.A. (and after struggling at the plate), Washington is still only one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the surprisingly uncompetitive N.L East . . .
The reason? The Braves have a deplorable road record, going only 7-13 on their two ten game road trips this year. The losses have been keenly felt in Atlanta, particularly after the early 12-1 start. The Braves have only won ten of their last 27 games, and are 11-15 against teams better than .500 . . .
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Ian Desmond went 3-4, which included a home run and an RBI double, and the Nationals won their fifth in a row in downing the Chicago Cubs, 7-3 at Nationals Park. Desmond’s hitting came at just the right time: Jayson Werth is poised to go on the D.L. and Bryce Harper sat out with an ingrown toenail.
While the Cubs pounded out more hits than the Nationals (10 vs. 9), Washington made their at-bats count: the Nationals left only eight men on base during the game, while the Cubs stranded 15.
“I go out there and try to play to win,” Desmond said after the victory. “It seems like every year that I’ve been here, we have gotten a little bit better. That’s all you could really ask for as a player”
The Nationals feasted off the fastball pitching of Chicago Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija, who gave up five earned runs in five innings. “I needed to make a couple better pitches and get out of those innings with no damage and get your offense back in the dugout to score some runs,” Samardzija said.
Washington lefty Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, was able to scatter eight Chicago hits over 6.2 innings of work, with steady Craig Stammen throwing 2.1 innings in solid relief. The victory marked Detwiler’s second win of the season, while Stammen sports an impressive 2.65 ERA in 17 innings of work.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Angel Hernandez was behind the plate for last night’s Nationals-Cubs match-up, and his strike zone was as wiggy as it’s always been. Hernandez is at the center of the storm over a blown call in Cleveland on Thursday. Given Hernandez’s reputation, that’s hardly a surprise . . .
The Hernandez home run controversy is now legion: with two outs in the top of the 9th, the A’s Adam Rosales launched a shot into the stands at Progressive Field which bounced off a railing above the fence and back onto the field. The umpiring crew called it a double, then retreated to the clubhouse to review the videotape . . .
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
These are not your daddy’s Pittsburgh Pirates, these are the “real deal” Pirates, a team that has not won in nearly two decades but that sits now, at 17-12, just one game from the top in the National League Central. On Friday night they proved they belong there, as A.J. Burnett struck out nine Nationals in leading the Buccos in a 3-1 win over the home-towners.
Burnett gave up just five hits and one walk in subduing the Nationals, getting help from Jordy Mercer, who homered to break the tie and give Pittsburgh the win. The Nationals seemed particularly ineffective against Pirates’ pitching: they were 1-3 with runners in scoring position and struck out 14 times in all.
“Our offense seems to be sputtering. We just can’t get anything going. That’s our problem,” Nats’ skipper Davy Johnson said in the clubhouse after the loss. “We are not hitting balls early in the count. We have a lot better hitters than we are showing.”
The Nationals had every chance of winning, particularly with lefty Ross Detwiler on the mound. But Detwiler lasted only five innings, lifted by Johnson after giving up six hits and two walks. Detwiler was victimized by Nats’ killer Andrew McCutchen, who put a Detwiler offering into the left field seats with two out in the first inning.
“He is not going to hit a home run every time, but it seems like against us, he does,” Detwiler said of McCutchen’s Friday night performance. “You have to focus on keeping the ball down. Don’t let him lift the ball, though.”
Indeed, the Pirates’ centerfielder clearly has the Nats’ number: in twenty-four games against the Nats, McCutchen is hitting .456 with six doubles, two triples, 11 homers, 22 RBIs and 24 runs scored. McCutchen was 3-4 last night, lifting his season BA to .257.
The Nats loss in Pittsburgh put the team back at 15-15 for the year. One year ago, the team was 18-12. The frustration is starting to show, even with Davey Johnson, who called on his team to be more aggressive. “We are kind of hitting rock bottom. We just need to man up,” he said. “Let’s start doing the things we are capable of doing. The ones that get me are the [called strikeouts].
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Of course, the Pirates didn’t “steal” last night’s game (as our headline notes), but used the long ball and a rookie to seal the win. Our headline is, rather, a nod to the Bucco’s long history. They got their name for “pirating” Lou Bierbauer from the Philadelphia Athletics back in 1890 . . .
Since their founding in 1882 (as the Alleghenys), the Pirates have won only five world championships, the most recent in 1979, when the Willie Stargell led “family” subdued Baltimore’s Orioles. But the Pirates haven’t done anything since 1992, when they lost the NLCS to the Atlanta Braves . . .
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Ross Detwiler dominated the Marlins, holding Miami to seven hits in seven complete innings, and the Washington Nationals went on to take the third of three games in their South Florida match-up, 6-1. Detwiler, Washington’s fifth starter, struck out five without walking a single Miami hitter.
“He’s definitely not [a fifth starter],” Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said of Detwiler following the victory. “He’s got great stuff and he locates it well. He uses both sides of the plate as good as anybody I’ve seen. He’s still in the learning stages. But he’s awfully good just right where he’s at.”
The Nationals’ victory, which provided a series win, was a relief for a team that has often struggled — and was coming off a three game series sweep at the hands of the Braves in Washington. Last night, in addition to Detwiler’s magic, the offense made a strong showing: catcher Kurt Suzuki notched a triple and home run and Bryce Harper was 4-5.
Bryce Harper’s output remains prodigious (he’s hitting .364 with five home runs) as does, apparently, his desire to play the game. Last night he played with the flu, bent over at the plate and throwing up between innings. “I thought he was going to die every time he went up there and he got a hit,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: The Nationals, now at 9-6, head north to face the Mets in a series that opens on Friday night. The first game provides a key match-up of contending fireballers: ace Stephen Strasburg vs. up-and-comer Matt Harvey. Harvey has been stunningly good, flirting with a no-hitter in his last outing versus the Twinkies in Minnesota . . .
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
This is a game that should have gone into the books as a win in the 8th, and then again in the 9th, but it took the Washington Nationals, and five home runs, to down the Cincinnati Reds in 11 innings at the Great American Bandbox Ballpark, 7-6.
This was a game of firsts for the Nationals in 2013: the first solid start for lefty youngster Ross Detwiler, the first home run for Ian Desmond (in the 11th with nobody on), the first blown late lead for the team during the season — and the first blown save for fireballer and veteran save artist Rafael Soriano.
Soriano’s blown save was the result of a home run from Cincy slugger Shin-Soo Choo, followed by a triple from Joey Votto — and a wild pitch that brought Votto home. Soriano’s so-so outing knotted the score at five, with the Nationals reeling from the unexpected Cincinnati rally.
But the Nationals fought back in extra innings. The Nationals got back on the board in the top of the 11th with a home run from Ian Desmond (whose inexplicable boot at shortstop in the 8th could have cost the Nationals the win), followed by a long shot to center from Wilson Ramos. The Ramos dinger was his second of the game.
But the real hero of the nail biter might well have been Craig Stammen, whose mound presence seemed to calm the Nationals. Stammen entered the game in the 10th and pitched two innings of two hit, one run ball — picking up his first win of the season. Stammen’s two seam fastball and late-moving slider stifled Reds’ hitters, allowing the Nats to ring up their fourth win of the season.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: We love Carp and F.P of course, but F.P. is so unapologetically in the bag for Ian Desmond that, well, it makes ya think that ‘ol Frank Paul is channeling his glory days as an Expos infielder . . .
When Desmond launched a grounder into the 18th row behind first base in the 4th inning (“what the hell was that,” Nats Nation yelled, as one), F.P. told us that he does this early in the season — and that he’ll get on track. Well, we’re sure that’s right, or at least we sure as hell hope so . . .
Then MASN interviewed Desmond in the postgame and implied his 11th inning homer made the difference in the game, when it absolutely did — and didn’t. The final score was 7-6 and according to our book the winning home run in the 7-6 game was launched by (let’s see, we’re checking) Wilson Ramos . . .
Friday, October 12th, 2012
Jayson Werth capped a 13-pitch 9th inning at bat by putting a 3-2 Lance Lynn offering into the left field bullpen, sending the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on Thursday night. “Three-two heater. He beat me,” Lynn said of the Werth at bat.
Werth’s crowd roaring blast ensured that the Nationals will play a final elimination game against the Redbirds on Friday to decide who will meet the San Francisco Giants for the National League Pennant. The Giants eliminated the Cincinnati Reds earlier on Thursday in a stunning 6-4 victory, after being down two games to none in that series.
In a season of exciting games, this was by far the most exciting, with the sold out crowd standing for every pitch from the 7th inning on. “That’s the way that game should have ended — Jayson Werth hitting a home run,” Nats’ manager Davey Johnson said of the epic walk off home run. “He has not hit that many this year. What was it, a 13-pitch at-bat, something like that? It was unbelievable.”
Werth’s ninth inning home run was set up by Washington’s outstanding pitching: six innings of three hit baseball from starter Ross Detwiler, followed by a superb relief effort from a trio of Nats’ relievers. Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen combined to strike out eight Redbirds in a row, holding St. Louis hitless in three complete innnings.
Following the game, closer Drew Storen paid tribute to the contribution that Werth has made to the club. “Last year didn’t go as well as he wanted, but what I think he did in the clubhouse from Day 1, he changed the culture,” he said. “He has been a huge part of the team’s success . . . I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a great teammate and a great leader.”
Credit the Cardinals for crediting Werth. Ninth inning reliever Lance Lynn battled the savvy veteran through 12 pitches, strike after strike, but then laid the thirteenth in over the plate. “He battled that whole at-bat, and I was making good pitches, making my pitches, and you know, he won,” Lynn said. “It was just a matter of time. I was challenging him, and he was up for it.”
Werth understood the importance of the moment, both for him and for the franchise. “You know when I came here last year this place was empty,” he told reporter Tim Kurkjian after the win, “and now one year later this place is packed and it’s awesome. We have great fans, and it’s a great place to play ball.”
The Nationals will face off against the Cardinals on Friday night at Nationals Park in the deciding Game 5 of the NLDS. Lefty ace Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals, with Adam Wainwright taking the mound for the Cardinals.
Photo Credits: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
It’s hard to argue with the numbers. Over the last eighteen innings, the Nationals have been outscored 20-4 by the St. Louis Cardinals and their pitching has cratered. The latest evidence of the Nationals’ postseason futility came on Wednesday when, with red towels waving all over Nationals Park, the Cardinals overwhelmed the hometowners, 8-0.
The latest victim of the Cardinals’ onslaught was Edwin Jackson, though it’s impossible to pin the second Nats’ loss in this five game playoff series on a single pitcher. The Nationals now face an ignominious elimination at the hands of one of the best hitting teams in baseball, hoping to salvage a single elimination playoff game with a win on Thursday.
As always, and even in the face of this adversity, Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson remained optimistic. He was buoyed by the sold out crowd, fanatical fans that have become the hallmark of the upstart franchise. “We’re not out of this, by a long shot,” he said. “Shoot, I’ve had my back to worse walls than this.”
But optimistic or not, there’s little doubt that, at least so far, the Cardinals are feasting on Nationals’ pitching. The Redbirds slammed out fourteen hits against five Washington pitchers, all of whom were ineffective — with the exception of closer Drew Storen. It all began with starter Edwin Jackson who gave up four earned runs in five innings.
A raucous crowd, watching the first playoff game in Nationals’ history, could not keep the Cardinals off the board, even in the first inning — when an Allen Craig double scored Matt Holliday. Shortstop Peter Kozma followed in the second inning with a home run that scored David Freese and Daniel Descalso. Suddenly it was 4-0.