Ross Detwiler’s third start of the season has gone much the same as his first two.
And that’s a good thing for the Nationals as they look to leave Miami with a series win.
Through four innings tonight, Detwiler has held the Marlins scoreless, allowing four hits and striking out four.
He’s thrown 61 pitches thus far, 45 for strikes. In typical Detwiler fashion, he’s been attacking opposing hitters tonight, throwing 56 fastballs among those 61 pitches.
Despite the heavy dose of two- and four-seamers tonight, Detwiler has also shown off a nice breaking ball tonight. He snuck in an 0-2 bender to Miguel Olivo in the second, drawing an awkward swing from the Marlins catcher that resulted in a strikeout.
Detwiler came into tonight having allowed just one earned run in 13 innings this season.
He’s now allowed one earned through 17 innings, leaving his season ERA at 0.53.
He and the Nationals have a 2-0 lead after four thanks to a couple of nice bits of situational hitting.
After back-to-back singles by Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond to open the second inning left runners at the corners, Roger Bernadina delivered an RBI groundout to plate LaRoche. Kurt Suzuki then followed with a sacrifice fly, bringing in Desmond.
The Nats haven’t gotten the big fly tonight, just a few timely hits and productive outs. Oh, yeah, and another fantastic four innings turned in by Detwiler so far.
Update: Right on cue, there’s the big fly.
Suzuki crunched a solo homer to left leading off the fifth, his second of the season, to make it a 3-0 Nats lead. Suzuki ups his average to .348 this season.
As a whole, Nationals catchers are batting .326 with four homers and eight RBIs in 2013.
Update II: A blown call got the Marlins on the board in the bottom of the fifth, but the Nats immediately got their lead back to three in the sixth.
Home plate umpire Greg Gibson missed the call on a play at the plate in the Marlins’ half of the fifth, when Suzuki appeared to tag the helmet of Chris Valaika before the Marlins center fielder touched home plate. Gibson started to call Valaika out, but then changed his mind and signaled him safe.
Suzuki and manager Davey Johnson argued the call, but to no avail. The Gibson call made it a 3-1 game.
The Nats made it 4-1 just a handful of minutes later, however. Bryce Harper doubled leading off the inning, Ryan Zimmerman moved Harper to third on a grounder to the right side, and LaRoche drove in a run with a single to left.
Update III: Detwiler is now done after seven fantastic innings, and leaves with a 5-1 lead. If this score holds, the left-hander will earn his first win of the season despite the fact he now has a 0.90 ERA through his three starts.
It was a 107-pitch performance by Detwiler, the most pitches he’s thrown in his career. He fired a whopping 80 strikes and by my count threw 100 fastballs on the night.
If they can’t hit it, keep on throwing it.
Tyler Clippard is on to work the eighth.
Update IV: As rough as last night’s game was for the Nationals, the series opener and finale were pretty darn smooth.
The Nats beat the Marlins 6-1 tonight, giving them the series victory in Miami. Detwiler went seven strong, Harper had four hits, Suzuki homered and tripled and the Nats will head to New York with smiles on their faces.
With the Braves’ loss today, the Nats pick up a full game on the National League East leaders.