Ever honest after a poor performance, Ross Detwiler put full responsibility on himself for the Nationals' 6-5 loss to the Orioles tonight.
"I mean, give up six in five innings? That's awful," Detwiler said. "Put the team in a hole early and they did a great job trying to dig out and it was just too much, really."
Detwiler allowed nine hits (a season high) and a walk over his five innings, and gave up two two-run home runs. He lacked command the entire night, struggling to locate his fastball and find the strike zone at all with his off-speed stuff.
"Both pitches (for homers) were right down the middle," Detwiler said. "It's just one of those days where I don't have command of it. Well, I really didn't have command of anything and the fastball command just seemed to be right down the middle."
"He didn't use both sides of the plate tonight, and also his secondary stuff, he wasn't getting it over," manager Davey Johnson said. "I think the first curveball he threw over was like the fourth inning. But he pretty much didn't locate and didn't use his secondary stuff."
You won't win many games when those are your issues. You also won't win many games when hitters know you can't throw a strike with your off-speed pitches.
"It gives them one pitch to sit on," Detwiler said. "That's what they were doing. It's pretty easy for a big league hitter to time pitching, whether it's 88, whether it's 99, it doesn't matter. If you're just throwing fastballs, they're going to hit it."
Was Detwiler battling himself tonight?
"Yeah, the entire game," he said. "It was just terrible.
This is Detwiler's second straight rough outing, following his start on Monday against the Padres in which he allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.
The frustrating part for Detwiler is that these two starts come after a fantastic beginning of the season, in which he went 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA over a six-start span. It also comes on the day when the Nationals announced that when Chien-Ming Wang returns from his rehab assignment, he'll head to the bullpen with Detwiler sticking in the rotation.
"I mean, I know I can do it," Detwiler said. "I know I'm here for a reason in this role. It's like, you just kind of have to take it for what it is and go after the next one. Tonight, I'm going to let it sink in a little bit. I feel terrible about it because our team was out there, the hitters were ready to hit.
"They put up five runs on that pitching staff which, we need to win when we do that."