Quick Williams quotes after Nats’ first loss of spring

TAMPA, Fla. - The Washington Nationals will not go through their Grapefruit League schedule undefeated.

Tears are pouring down your faces right now, I’m sure.

The Nationals dropped a 4-2 game to the Yankees today, giving them their first spring loss this year. Ross Detwiler allowed all four Yankees runs (three earned), and Zach Walters homered to provide one of the few offensive highlights for the Nats.

Here are pieces from reporters’ postgame chat with manager Matt Williams:

On Detwiler’s outing: “He mixed in nine curveballs today, which is good. One of the things he’s working on. He’s working on his cutter, he’s working on all of his pitches. It didn’t go the way he wanted it to, but he’s out there working on stuff, which is good. Fastball velocity was where he wanted it, 92 to 94 (mph), which was good. Easy. I think it went well despite the outcome. He was right on track.”

Detwiler liked how his curveball felt. Here’s what Williams thought of it: “Good. Three or four of them for strikes. A couple down and out of the zone with two strikes. I think it was fine. I don’t think he gave up a hit on his curveball. He threw them all in good counts. So I think it was good. Of course, it didn’t go his way.”

On if the Nats’ coaches are trying to push Detwiler to throw more breaking balls: “No. It’s something he wants to do. But he came in to camp wanting to do that. He’s going to work on it. The results aren’t always going to be there in spring because you do need to work it. And throw in counts that you wouldn’t ordinarily throw it in. But I think it was good. It was fine.”

On Tanner Roark’s two innings of work: “Good. More of the same with him. Command of zone. He did great. ... First outing, he was in the zone good. That’s what we’ve seen. That’s what we saw at the tail end of last year and certainly his bullpen sessions and his live sessions this year. More of the same.”

On Roark’s ability to start and relieve: “Yeah, he can do both of that. He has experience as a starter. We’re going to lengthen him out. Again, talking today about the number of starters we have in camp, we gotta do that. We’re going to lengthen him out as much as possible. That’s an option for him as well.”

On Christian Garcia’s scoreless inning: “Yeah, it was good. Gave up a bloop double. But other than that, he was good. Fastball 92 to 94 (mph) in the zone. He looked a little more comfortable out there today, a little more calmed down today. So, I thought he was good.”

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