We've played three innings at Nationals Park, and the Nationals are down 1-0 to the Reds. But despite giving up five hits in the first three innings, Ross Detwiler is showing the stuff that made him the No. 6 pick in the 2007 draft. He hasn't done that much in 22 big league starts before tonight.
Detwiler has struck out six batters in three innings, flashing a 95-mph sinker that's had more downward tilt than he's shown in the majors and a curveball he's been able to slip in the back door for a few called strikes. He's thrown 37 of 53 pitches for strikes through three innings, and though he left a sinker up on a homer to Joey Votto, he's pitched out of a couple jams to hold the Reds scoreless after that.
To be fair, the left-hander still is scrambling through the Reds' lineup more than he is mowing through it. But it's been rare to see Detwiler come to the ballpark with two plus pitches, like he's got tonight. A left-hander throwing a hard sinker with a good breaking ball is a rare commodity, and you can see why Detwiler went as high in the draft as he did. If only he could harness it, the Nationals might have something. That's always been the story with him, though.
The Nationals have just one hit off Johnny Cueto, having posted three strikeouts of their own. We'll see what Detwiler can do in the middle innings, where he's typically run into trouble.