Through three starts this season, 27-year-old Washington Nationals' lefty Ross Detwiler is (1-0) with a 0.90 ERA, 3.32 FIP, three walks (1.35 BB/9) and 11 Ks (4.95 K/9) in 20.0 IP. The Nats' '07 1st Round pick has allowed just three runs (two earned) in his first three outings against the Reds, Braves and Marlins. In his start against Miami last week in Marlins Park, Detwiler threw a career-high 107 pitches and held the Fish to seven hits in 7.0 innings after which Nats' skipper Davey Johnson praised the way the lefty was throwing that night and so far this season.
"Det was outstanding again," Johnson told reporters, "A great effort and a lot of good things. I think that's the first time I let him throw, I think he threw 107? I told him last time out I'd let him go further. I expected him to go further than the seventh inning, but he pitched a heck of a ballgame." Detwiler made an appearance on the MLB Network show "The Rundown" with Lauren Shehadi and Mitch Williams last week and talked about the adjustments he's made that have led to his early season success.
The move to a starting role once Davey Johson took over on the bench in 2011 was the big difference maker for Detwiler. "Being in the bullpen, it was a little tough," Detwiler explained, "I never really grasped that. Knowing my role, knowing I’m going to be a starter from the beginning on, it allowed me to kind of fall into this routine. I think I’m able to really locate my pitches better because I’m working the other four days." Detwiler also said his experience pitching for Team USA in this past March's World Baseball Classic did a lot to boost his confidence:
"It was a big confidence booster having Joe Torre call me and ask me to go out there and play for Team USA. It was kind of a dream of mine to be able to represent my country, seeing USA across my chest, you know it still kind of gives me chills a little bit even thought it didn’t quite work out as planned. But it was so much fun with some great guys there, and like I said, it was just a big confidence booster for me and it kind of propelled me into my first few starts."
Detwiler takes the mound for the fourth time this season tonight in Nationals Park where he'll try to stop the Nats' four-game losing streak at home in the nation's capital.
• You can check out Detwiler and Danny Espinosa's appearance on the MLB Network Show "The Rundown" below:
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the second game of three with St. Louis this week:
#Nationals lineup vs. STL: Span 8, Werth 9, Harper 7, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Rendon 5, Espinosa 4, Suzuki 2, Detwiler 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) April 23, 2013