Washington Nationals Drop 2-1 Decision To Cincinnati Reds. Ross Detwiler's Best Start, Meet Johnny Cueto.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Ross Detwiler #48 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park on August 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Nation's Capital Top 5: 

5. They Call Him Det: The Washington Nationals' '07 1st Round pick Ross Detwiler is dealing early, striking out the first two batters he faces tonight in Nats Park before surrendering a solo HR to Joey Votto, who crushes a 95 mph 3-1 fastball and sends it sailing out to left-center into the back of the visitor's bullpen. 1-0 Reds after one. Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto strikes out the side on 16 pitches in the Nats' first, and the Nationals' lefty is back on the mound after a (too) brief break. Detwiler gives up a leadoff single to Miguel Cairo, but a strike'em-out-throw-em-out on a 2-2 sinker to Drew Stubbs gets him two outs on one pitch and a single later he records his fourth K in two innings pitched and he's at 31 pitches total, still down by one, 1-0...

4. The Arm, Disrespected: Michael Morse takes second on a throwing error by Miguel Cairo. Morse hits a sharp grounder to third that the official scorer rules would have been a single, apparently, because it's ruled a hit and an error, so the Nats have a runner on second to start the second. Three outs later, the Nationals strand Morse at third, and Cueto's up to 32 pitches after two scoreless frames. Brandon Phillips is on with a one-out single in the third, and he takes third when Reds' outfielder Dave Sappelt lines to left-center off Ross Detwiler. Rick Ankiel makes a strong throw in to second and has Sappelt dead to rights, but the ump's on the first base side of the bag and he misses the tag Danny Espinosa places on the runner's cleat before it reaches the base. Second and third with one out, and a walk to Joey Votto loads the bases before Ross Detwiler strikes out Jay Bruce and pops up Miguel Cairo to leave'em loaded. Still 1-0 Reds after two and a half. 

3. Cueto: "You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory.": Johnny Cueto appeared to have tweaked something earlier in the game while at bat, and he's struggling, but still up 1-0 in the fourth when Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles to start the frame. The Reds' right-hander looks like he's laboring out on the mound, but he gets a broken-bat swinging bunt toward third and a broken bat pop so short from Michael Morse and Jayson Werth, respectively, and a third broken bat, this time Danny Espinosa's, sends a liner out to second for out no. 3. Ankiel and Zim are stranded, still 1-0 Reds after four. 

2. Detwiler's Best: After recording a career-high in K's with his seventh in a scoreless fourth, Ross Detwiler gives up a two-out walk but nothing else in a thirteen-pitch fifth. A leadoff single in the sixth amounts to nothing for the Reds as the Nats' lefty retires the next three batters in order to complete six innings of work in which he's thrown 103 pitches tying a career high. 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's, 1 HR, 5/4 GO/FO. Detwiler puts runners on in each inning after surrendering the two-out HR in the first, but allows just the one run, dials his fastball up to 95-96 at times, and leaves the game with the Nats within reach of the win in what might be the best start he's made in the majors. 

1. Nats Get Cueto'd: Todd Coffey takes over for Detwiler in the seventh and retires the Reds in order on 11 pitches. Johnny Cueto, who K'd looking on three pitches in the top of the frame, (and was still moving awkwardly) is back on the mound with 77 pitches on his arm when he starts the seventh. 11 pitches later the Cincinnati right-hander has seven scoreless and he's allowed just four singles through 7.0 IP in which he's struck out four and induced ten groundouts.

0. Costly Run In Hindsight: Nats' lefty Sean Burnett gives up back-to-back singles in the Reds' eighth and with runners on first and third makes a nice play on a grounder by Miguel Cairo, catching the lead runner, Joey Votto, off third and getting the first out without a run scoring. A one-out walk loads the bases, however, and ends Burnett's night. Ryan Mattheus gets a grounder up the middle, but Danny Espinosa can't beat the runner to second, settling for the out at first, and a run scored, 2-0 Reds. Johnny Cueto comes back for the eighth, and gives up a broken bat single through short by Wilson Ramos. Laynce Nix K's swinging through a high 1-2 95 mph heater. Ian Desmond pops out foul of first. Two down. Rick Ankiel gets hold of one but flies out to center to end the eighth.

-1. What Was It The Kids Called Him?: Henry Rodriguez retires the Reds in order in the top of the ninth and one pitch into the bottom of the frame, Johnny Cueto's shutout and night are over. Ryan Zimmer--THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! HR to center on the first pitch of the ninth and it's 2-1 Reds with no one out. Franciso Cordero replaces Cueto with Michael Morse up next. Morse gets jammed and grounds out to third, one down. Jayson Werth works the count full and walks. Danny Espinosa drives a 1-0 fastball to right for a single. Werth takes second. Former Red Jonny Gomes grounds to short and the runners were moving before contact, so the Reds' shortstop Paul Janish is distracted and boots it. Bases loaded, one down. Wilson Ramos...swings at the first pitch and grounds into a double play. Ballgame. Reds win, 2-1 final. 

• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...

Num Name - Comments
1 dc Roach - 189
2 MissB - 76
3 jeff550 - 71
4 Whupass - 48
5 cat daddy3000 - 44
6 Brotato - 36
7 Jeff T - 33
8 jbg2772 - 28
9 RepConsul - 26
10 PerryMason - 23

 

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON.

Nationals now 58-63.

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