Detwiler retires four batters in spring debut (Nats lose 4-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP

SCORE: Yankees 4, Nationals 2

Recap: Ross Detwiler allowed four runs, three earned, in 1 1/3 innings of work in his spring debut, while Zach Walters kept his hot spring going by crushing a solo homer to center.

Need to know: Detwiler showed some positive signs, but struggled with his fastball command, while Tanner Roark delivered two uneventful, scoreless frames. Those two, along with Taylor Jordan, are competing for the No. 5 spot in the Nats rotation.

On deck: Tuesday, at Braves in Lake Buena Vista, 1:05 p.m.


TAMPA, Fla. - Ross Detwiler was dominant in his first inning this spring. He didn't make it through his second.

Detwiler went 1 1/3 innings in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits. The left-hander struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

As I've written multiple times this spring (and will continue to write), results mean absolutely nothing at this point. The fact that Detwiler struck out two in a perfect first inning is as irrelevant as it is that he allowed five hits, including two doubles, in the second.

In the first, Detwiler got Brett Gardner looking, induced a groundout to short off the bat of Derek Jeter and then froze former Braves catcher Brian McCann on a curveball.

Detwiler has barely utilized off-speed pitches the last couple of years, but his curve looked really sharp today.

In the second, Detwiler gave up a leadoff single to Brian Roberts (who looks really weird in a Yankees uniform), a single to Francisco Cervelli and a double to Kelly Johnson. A Zach Walters throwing error then allowed Ichiro Suzuki to reach base, scoring a run.

Zoilo Almonte doubled off Detwiler and Corban Joseph singled to right, making it 4-0 Yankees. Manager Matt Williams then came out to get Detwiler after the left-hander struck out Gardner for a second time today.

Detwiler's fastball command was off in that second inning, and he missed his spots by a wide margin. But again, that means nothing this early in spring. He was hitting 94 mph on the radar gun, which is a good sign.

Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum prevented further damage by getting Jeter to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the second. Not sure this Jeter guy has much talent.

Tanner Roark takes over for the Nationals as they start the third inning.

Update: Roark went two scoreless, uneventful innings, allowing two hits.

He gave up a leadoff single to McCann in the third, but got Cervelli to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to wipe out McCann and end the frame. In the fourth, Roark gave up a two-out single to Almonte on what was actually a nice pitch down and away, but Tyler Moore made a nice play to wipe Almonte out on the bases, cutting the Yankees left fielder down at second base with a one-hop throw right to the bag.

In the Nats' half of the fifth, Walters crushed a solo homer to center, continuing his early-spring hot streak.

Walters is now 6-for-7 with two doubles, a triple and a homer this spring. It's 4-1 Yankees in the fifth.

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