Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler had been on the best roll of his young career coming in to Friday’s series home opener against the New York Mets. He had won two of his last three decisions and allowed just five earned runs in those three games.
But Friday was a different story entirely, in what Detwiler described as “definitely” his worst outing of the season.
He lasted just 48 pitches in three innings, the big blow a David Wright three-run homer in the first inning that changed the complexion of the contest way too early. Detwiler finished up allowing six earned runs.
Manager Davey Johnson said Detwiler struggled keeping his pitches down the entire outing.
“It was one of those games where he didn’t locate very good,” Johnson said. “The fastball middle in to (Wright) that wasn’t good. When we tried to pitch him in but you can’t leave it out over the plate. I didn’t think he had real good command. He didn’t really use his off speed stuff. It was just one of those days you turn the page on.”
Approaching Detwiler at his locker following the game, you could see the southpaw was pretty distraught. Sitting on a foldout chair, Detwiler’s red Nationals sweatshirt hood was covering most of his face and his head was in his hands.
“Nothing worked,” Detwiler said. “They hit everything I threw up there hard. (I had) bad location, bad pitches, everything.”
Detwiler said his main problem was not being able to locate his sinker down in the zone.
“I didn’t do it all,” Detwiler said. “I think there was one pitch I actually threw down in the zone and it got on the ground. When you do that one time in three innings you are going to get hurt pretty bad.”
Detwiler said he knows what he has to do to bounce back from this game, because this is certainly rare for his track in his previous six starts since July 5, five of those since Aug. 4. Overall, Detwiler was 2-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 23 1/3 innings at Nationals Park this season.
Still frustrated, he said it was pretty simple game plan for what he needed to accomplish before his next opportunity. It would be what you would expect a veteran starter to do when coming off success and hitting a bump in the road.
“(I) just (need to) go out there and tomorrow’s is going to come,” Detwiler said. “It is obviously the worst I have done. I have a got a little work to do this week and be ready for the next one. You kind of sit in it for a little while until my next side (session) which will be Sunday. You think about it until Sunday and let everything go once you step back on the mound.”