Remember what we were saying a little while ago about Ross Detwiler’s numbers the third time through a lineup? That’s where he got in trouble again tonight.
The first hitter to see Detwiler for a third time - Reed Johnson - doubled to deep center against him. And after Blake Dewitt hit a fly ball to center, Aramis Ramirez - who had grounded into a double play and lined out to third in his first two at-bats - launched a homer to left off Detwiler.
He’d only allowed two hits in the first five innings, one of them out of the outfield. He matched that hit total, and surpassed the number of outfield hits he’d allowed in the first five innings, in three batters in the sixth. And the Nationals’ lead against the Cubs is down to a run.
It’s been that kind of inconsistency that’s hurt Detwiler in his career. He had a sharp sinker for the first five innings that was sitting around 93 mph, but all of a sudden in the sixth, he struggled to keep the ball down. So instead of taking a shutout into the seventh, he came out of the game, and the Nationals lead the Cubs 3-2. It’s very possible Detwiler will get another start on Sunday, and there were some things to build on for him tonight. But until he figures out how to go deeper into games, there’s no reason to think he’ll be a fixture in the rotation.