Results tagged ‘ Ross Detwiler ’

What to Watch for: 4.23.13

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St. Louis Cardinals (11-8) vs. Washington Nationals (10-9)

RHP Adam Wainwright (3-1, 2.48) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (1-0, 0.90)

The Nationals and Cardinals match up for the second of three contests as Washington’s NLDS Game 4 starter Ross Detwiler squares off with St. Louis Games 1 and 5 starter Adam Wainwright. Detwiler carries the National League’s best ERA into tonight’s game, a mark he shares with Boston’s Clay Buchholz as the lowest in all of Major League Baseball.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Rendon 3B

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

AGGRESSIVE APRIL

With eight games remaining in the month, Bryce Harper has already matched Alfonso Soriano’s 2006 Nationals club record for home runs in April with seven. Harper’s 14 RBI are just three shy of matching Adam LaRoche (17 in 2012) and Ryan Zimmerman (17 in ‘06) for the club mark in April.

EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The Nationals (40.5%) rank third in Major League Baseball in extra-base hit percentage. Only Cleveland (43.2%) and Oakland (40.9%) own superior percentages. Washington’s 148 hits this season include 34 doubles, three triples and 23 homers.

PIVOTAL PRODUCTION

Ian Desmond (12), Danny Espinosa (6) and Steve Lombardozzi (2) have combined on 20 extra-base hits, tops among middle-infield units. The Reds and Phillies, with 17 XBH apiece from its middle infielders, are tied for second in MLB.

What to Watch for: 4.19.13

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Washington Nationals (9-6) vs. New York Mets (7-7)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 2.95) vs. RHP Matt Harvey (3-0, 0.82)

When Stephen Strasburg made his first career start against the New York Mets back in 2010, he was just five outings removed from his electrifying, 14-strikeout debut, and the talk of the town around Major League Baseball. He was clearly the most dynamic, exciting player on a team whose other most notable star held down the fort as the defending National League Silver Slugger at third base, an award he would go on to win again that season.

Now, nearly three full years later as the Nationals face the Mets for the first time in 2013, it is young hurler Matt Harvey of New York commanding the buzz. Having won each of his first three starts with a sub-1.00 ERA, the eyes of New York and beyond will be on the young right-handed fireballer Friday night as he takes on the Nationals. Harvey represents another emerging star to go alongside David Wright, the Mets two-time Silver Slugger-winning third baseman.

And who will be opposite Harvey on the mound? Why, fellow 24-year-old Strasburg, of course.

The two might have met up in a parallel universe last season, but instead it was John Lannan, returning to his home in New York, who bested Harvey as the Nationals snagged a 1-0 September 12 road victory. Harvey struck out 10 in that affair, but lasted only five frames, needing a full 106 pitches. With Denard Span recovered from the flu that ailed him earlier in the week and back atop the lineup Friday night, you can be sure Washington will look to grind away at the youngster, as they have done to many opponents so far this season.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Desmond SS

6. Tracy 3B

7. Lombardozzi 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP

TWO OF A KIND

With his seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday night vs. Miami, Ross Detwiler earned his first victory of the season. He also became just the second pitcher in the history of the Nationals/Expos organization to ever start the season with three starts of at least six innings and one or fewer runs, joining future Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez (1994).

DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS

Bryce Harper shook off the flu to go 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in Wednesday’s series finale in South Florida. The defending NL Rookie of the Year is off to a hot start, batting .364/.417/.673 with a team-high five home runs and a share of the lead with 11 RBI (Ryan Zimmerman). Harper ranks in the top 15 in the National League in batting (tied, eighth), on-base percentage (15th) and slugging percentage (sixth).

PASSING CAP

With Wednesday night’s victory in Miami, Davey Johnson and his 1,295 career managerial wins have moved into the top 30 all-time. Johnson is currently tied for 30th on the all-time list with Hall-of-Famer Cap Anson, who posted 1,295 wins and a .578 winning percentage in 21 seasons (1875, 1879-98) primarily as a player/manager with the Phillies, White Sox, Chicago Colts and Giants. Before 2013 ends, Johnson is likely to surpass Hall-of-Famer Ned Hanlon (#29, 1,313 wins) and Chuck Tanner (#28, 1,352 wins).

Highlights: 4.17.13

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4.17.13 – Nationals 6, Marlins 1

Stat of the Game: With seven innings of one-run ball, Ross Detwiler became just the second pitcher in Nationals/Expos history to go at least six innings while allowing one or fewer runs in each of his first three starts of the season, joining Pedro Martinez.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Coming off a missed game to to the flu, Bryce Harper matched a career high with four hits, including an RBI infield single with two outs in the ninth.

It Was Over When: The Nationals bounced back from their only run allowed (on a questionable call in the bottom of the fifth inning) to score single runs in the sixth and seventh and put the game out of reach.

What to Watch for: 4.17.13

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Washington Nationals (8-6) vs. Miami Marlins (3-11)

LHP Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.69) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.12)

The Nationals look to wrap up their first road series victory of the 2013 season after splitting the first two games of the series. Washington is 4-1 so far this season vs. the Marlins.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Werth RF

2. Lombardozzi 2B

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Bernadina CF

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The Nationals pace the NL as 40.2 percent of their hits have gone for extra bases. This season, Washington’s 117 hits include 27 doubles, two triples and 18 homers. Atlanta ranks second in the NL (38.6%).

IAN’S BEING … IAN

Ian Desmond paces all MLB middle infielders in extra-base hits with 10 (seven doubles, triple, two home runs). Desmond’s seven doubles are also tied for the MLB lead (all positions) with Seattle’s Kyle Seager.

GONE FISHIN’

With the series outcome on the line tonight, note that Washington has won only three of 18 series played in Miami since the beginning of the 2007 campaign. The Nationals and Marlins split 18 games last season despite Washington’s 20-12 advantage in home runs. Via a 10-8 mark in 2007, the Nationals/Expos franchise has won only one season series from the Marlins since ’98.

What to Watch for: 4.14.13

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Atlanta Braves (10-1) vs. Washington Nationals (7-4)

LHP Paul Maholm (2-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.82)

Washington looks to wrap up a winning homestand as the Nationals try to salvage the final game of a three-game set with Atlanta Sunday afternoon. In a battle of undefeated southpaws, the Nats send Gio Gonzalez against Braves lefty Paul Maholm.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Gonzalez LHP

FOR STARTERS …

The Braves have handed the Nationals a pair of losses here the last 48 hours despite strong efforts on Friday from Ross Detwiler (7.0 innings, one run allowed) and on Saturday from Stephen Strasburg (6.0 innings, two unearned runs allowed). Collectively, Washington’s two starters have posted a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP), a 4.0/1 K-to-BB ratio, and a .191 batting average against in the two losses.

MASHING MEANINGFULLY

Bryce Harper team-best fifth homer in the first inning on Friday provided Washington an early 2-0 lead. Four of Harper’s five homers this year have either tied the game or given the Nationals the lead.

EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The Nationals pace the NL as 41.6 percent of their hits this season have gone for extra bases. In ‘13, Washington’s 89 hits include 18 doubles, two triples and 17 home runs. The Mets rank second in extra-base hit rate at 39.4%.

What to Watch for: 4.13.13

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Atlanta Braves (9-1) vs. Washington Nationals (7-3)

RHP Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.27) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.38)

The Nationals and Braves meet for the second of this three-game set following Atlanta’s 6-4, 10-inning victory Friday night. In a matchup of Opening Day starters, Tim Hudson and Stephen Strasburg meet up in the Saturday matinee.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Strasburg RHP

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

At 7-3, the Nationals have matched their finest 10-game start since arriving in D.C. in 2005. Last season, Davey Johnson’s Nationals also jumped out to a 7-3 start and subsequently won seven of their next eight to post a 14-4 mark at the conclusion of play on April 25.

DET OF GRATITUDE, AND LITTLE ELSE

Despite facing two of baseball’s best offenses (Reds, Braves) and twice departing in line for the win, Ross Detwiler has been rendered a pair of no-decisions in two starts this season. Detwiler is, in fact, one of only two big league pitchers to work at least 13.0 innings and allow one earned run or less, but go without a win this season. The other is Carlos Villanueva, who has tossed 14.0 innings of one-run ball over two starts for the Cubs.

SPAN THE MAN

Denard Span has reached base safely at least twice in seven of Washington’s 10 contests this year. He has enjoyed three multi-hit efforts as well as a trio of multi-walk contests. Span has registered at least one hit and one walk five times already this year.

Detwiler, Stammen: Tour of Duty

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Earlier this offseason, General Martin Dempsey – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – invited Nationals pitchers Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen on the annual USO holiday tour. While abroad, Detwiler and Stammen sent us daily journal entries detailing the events of their trip.

The video below is bonus content for the full story, which can be found in Issue 1 of the Nationals Magazine. Beginning this season, we will provide links, text shortcodes and QR codes to digital features like this throughout Nationals Magazine and Inside Pitch.

13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #12

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In the lead up to Opening Day at Nationals Park on April 1, we’re counting down 13 things we’re excited about on and off the field heading into the 2013 season. Be sure to check back each day as we add another item to the list and get one day closer to the return of baseball to Washington!

#12: Old Dogs, New Tricks

You may have heard reports from camp in Viera that some of the Nationals pitchers are working on some new pitches this spring. Considering that the staff finished the 2012 season with the best ERA in the National League at 3.33, that is a very scary proposition, indeed.

Ross Detwiler has flashed a curveball that Davey Johnson claims is as good as any he’s seen the lefty throw, looking sharp in both international play at the WBC and in quieting the Detroit Tigers daunting lineup. Speaking of taming the Tigers, Jordan Zimmermann was absolutely masterful against Detroit last Sunday – and downright giddy afterwards – after showing some of the best changeups we’ve ever seen the power pitcher throw. Tyler Clippard has also expanded his repertoire, adding a curveball to pair with his already devastating changeup. How has that worked out so far? He’s allowed just two hits over 7.0 scoreless frames this spring, walking one while fanning nine.

Even Stephen Strasburg, already the owner of three plus pitches, has been working on a sinking fastball to pair with his four-seamer. We can’t wait to see all of them in action, as he throws the first pitch of the regular season a week from Monday.

Back to the Grind

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After competing in a postseason type of atmosphere at the World Baseball Classic the last couple of weeks, Nationals pitchers Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez returned to the much more low-key confines of Viera, rejoining their teammates in Spring Training this week. Detwiler made his first spring start since the tournament on Sunday, bringing a sharp changeup, as well as his trademark, self-deprecating wit along with him to Lakeland as he squared off with the Tigers.

Despite the change in venue, Detwiler used the same approach for this outing as he did for his shining WBC moment, in which he shut down Team Italy over four scoreless frames to help Team USA advance to the second round.

“I don’t think it was that different,” said the southpaw of the two environments. “I had the same mentality to just go out there, throw strikes and get ahead.”

Detwiler looked like his old self in his return to the Nationals rotation Sunday.

Detwiler looked like his old self in his return to the Nationals rotation Sunday.

Limited to 56 pitches over four innings, the lefty allowed just three hits and a walk, surrendering a single run on a towering home run to Detroit outfielder Torii Hunter in the first inning.

“My first outing in Spring Training I faced the Braves and their Opening Day lineup,” he explained, noting that he has run into a tough string of opponents already in spring. “You don’t want to take any less intensity out there or they’re going to hit a ball right back at you. Or over the tiki hut in left.”

Detwiler went on to throw 15 more pitches in the bullpen, as he stretches himself out for his first start of the season, likely in Cincinnati – a well-known hitter’s haven – on the team’s first road trip. Good thing he’s getting his practice in now in tough pitching environments.

“That’s a ridiculous lineup,” he said of the Tigers, who rolled out nearly all of their starters on Sunday. “You’ve got to focus on keeping the ball down, or you’re going to have to throw with an L-screen out there.”

For those unfamiliar with the term, an L-screen is the protective barrier from behind which coaches throw batting practice to the players. Hopefully he won’t need any such equipment should he run into them again when the two teams meet during the regular season, May 7-8 in D.C.

“I’m going to throw to the American League the same way I throw to the National League, I just won’t have to hit in half the games,” he explained, as the only difference in his approach. After a pause, he quipped, “That’s a good thing.”

While Detwiler was out facing the defending American League Champions, Gonzalez took his day off to head to Disney World. He threw on the Minor League side on Monday as he works his way back into the rotation.

With Detwiler and Gonzalez’s return, and with the starters scheduled to play more innings both at home and on the road this week, it was time on Monday morning to make the next round of cuts in camp. The Nationals optioned right-handed pitchers Erik Davis, Yunesky Maya and Ryan Perry, catcher Jhonatan Solano, infielder Chris Marrero and outfielder Corey Brown to Syracuse and reassigned right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and infielder Zach Walters to Minor League camp. The Spring Training roster now stands at 34 players heading into play against the Tigers once again on Monday.

Nationals Lineup:

1. Span CF

2. Werth RF

3. Harper LF

4. Zimmerman 3B

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Ramos C

9. Zimmermann RHP

Results:

2/23 @ New York (NL) – L, 5-3

2/24 vs. Miami – T, 2-2

2/25 @ New York (NL) – W, 6-4

2/26 @ Atlanta – L, 9-5

2/27 vs. Miami – L, 5-1

2/28 vs. New York (NL) – T, 4-4

3/1 @ Atlanta – W, 6-5

3/2 @ St. Louis – W, 6-2

3/3 vs. St. Louis – W, 7-6

3/5 vs. Houston – W, 7-1

3/6 @ Philadelphia – L, 6-3

3/7 @ Houston – L, 4-2

3/8 vs. Cardinals – L, 16-10

3/9 vs. Marlins – W, 8-7

3/10 @ Detroit – L, 2-1

3/11 vs. Atlanta – L, 7-2

3/13 SS vs. New York (NL) – W, 8-5

3/13 SS @ Houston – W, 9-7

3/14 vs. Houston – W, 6-3

3/15 @ St. Louis – L, 5-1

3/16 vs. Houston – L, 4-2

3/17 @ Detroit – W, 12-10

Overall Record: 10-10-2

Nationals and Americans

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It is said that 90 percent of baseball is pitching. Abiding by that adage, Team USA stands just one win from the championship round of the World Baseball Classic thanks in large part to a pair of stellar performances, both by members of the Washington Nationals starting rotation.

After Ross Detwiler kept the Americans’ hopes alive by closing out Italy over four scoreless frames on Saturday night, it was Gio Gonzalez’s turn in his hometown of Miami on Tuesday. Pitching in front of a raucous crowd of 32,872, he pumped fastballs, spun curveballs and pulled the string on his ever-improving changeup to befuddle a Puerto Rican squad full of Major Leaguers. By the time Gonzalez was done, just three opposing batters had reached safely in five shutout frames, with five strikeouts to boot. Team USA went on to win by a 7-1 final, with Gonzalez the victor.

Gonzalez dominated in front of his hometown crowd.

Gonzalez dominated in front of his hometown crowd.

Think about it this way: if Detwiler and Gonzalez had pitched their nine combined innings in the same game, they would have collaborated on a four-hit shutout of the international field with a single walk and eight strikeouts.

“This was a blessing to be alongside some of the greatest,” said Gonzalez of his first opportunity to represent Team USA. “To say that I pitched in front of my home crowd and to win, it’s truly a dream.”

Perhaps the most impressive part of Gonzalez’s outing was his pinpoint control, which led to 48 strikes in his 69 total pitches. That’s a 70 percent strike rate, compared with the 62 percent he posted last year, lower than every other member of the Washington rotation (Cliff Lee led MLB at 70.5 percent). If nothing else, it’s an encouraging sign for Nationals fans looking to see what Gonzalez can do to build off his 21-win season a year ago.

“We were right on the same page, every pitch,” said Gonzalez of his interactions with his catcher, Joe Mauer, whom he said he shook off only once all game. “I felt confident enough to go out and pound the strike zone.”

Team USA will get Wednesday off – as Puerto Rico and Italy will battle to stay alive in the tournament – before taking on the Dominican Republic on Thursday. While that would be Detwiler’s throw day, he is unsure as of yet whether or not he will be called upon in that game. Gonzalez, meanwhile, would not start again until the championship round, should Team USA advance to San Francisco.

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