It was all playing out early on for Ross Detwiler and the Nationals. Staked to a 4-0 lead, Detwiler went after the Braves and lasted seven innings, allowing only a Chris Johnson solo shot.
So, it was a shock for the Nationals to lose that early advantage and allow six runs in four innings, ending in a 6-4, 10-inning setback to the Braves.
"Det was great, challenging the guys, going right at them," said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. "I think he threw like three off-speed pitches through the first five or six innings. It is really good to see him pitch like that (with) him throwing his fastball and going right at people. It's fun to play behind him when pitchers do that."
It was the second straight game that Detwiler came through without a decision while holding the other team at bay for more than half the game. Last Saturday, Detwiler allowed one unearned run in six innings at Cincinnati.
"That is two games now Det has pitched two great ball games and come out with nothing," said manager Davey Johnson. "I feel really bad about that. I take responsibility for that."
Detwiler was able to establish his fastball early on, but wanted more early contact. He believes that was the main reason he couldn't get to the eighth inning, as the pitch count reached 90.
"Early on, I felt that I was moving some hitters off the plate and let the sinker were a little bit," Detwiler said. "There were a lot of three-ball counts in there, and overall that kept me out of the later end of the game."
Detwiler admitted he "wanted to go out there for it" in the final frames, but it is "not (his) call."
"I felt strong at the end," Detwiler said. "Bullpen has been taxed the last few days. They have been working pretty hard. I was kind of shooting to give them a night off. I wish I could have gone a little deeper."
Reliever Tyler Clippard said he wished the bullpen could have picked up the final two frames for Detwiler, but it wasn't meant to be.
"Both of his outings have been amazing," Clippard said. "As a bullpen collectively to have your starter do what he did and not get the win for him is very, very disappointing for us as a group, and for me too."
And Detwiler knows the bottom line is the win for the team is most important, despite his impressive 0.69 ERA in 13 innings over two starts.
"I wouldn't say I am not going to take confidence out of it," Detwiler said. "I am just going to attack the next one just like I did the last two."