Of the eleven hits Ross Detwiler surrendered in his last start, at home in D.C. against Cincinnati, only one was an extra base hit. Joey Votto hit a double to the left field corner in the third at bat of the game, one batter after a Zack Cozart single and one before Brandon Phillips' two-run RBI grounder to center gave the Reds a 2-0 lead over the Washington Nationals' 27-year-old lefty. Seven singles followed in his five innings of work, not all of them well-struck. "When Det's not really sharp," Davey Johnson told reporters after the Nats' 5-2 loss, "that's going to happen. [They'll] get a bunch of hits. But he battled and gave us five innings and kept us in the ballgame, gave us a chance to win. But there are times like that where he needs to use his whole arsenal. He'll get there."
It was the first rough start of a so-far-strong season for the Nationals' '07 1st Round pick, who takes the mound in PNC Park tonight with a 2.03 ERA, 3.18 FIP, one home run (0.29 HR/9) and six walks (1.74 BB/9) allowed and 16 Ks (4.65 K/9) recorded in his first five starts and 31.0 IP in 2013. The veteran of six major league seasons has pitched just 11.0 innings against the Pirates in his career, posting a 4.09 ERA and collecting 10 Ks (8.18 K/9). Detwiler's one career start in PNC Park came last May, when the then-26-year-old starter surrendered seven hits and three runs in a 4-2 loss. This time out, Detwiler's looking to make it three straight for the Nats, who took the last two games of their four-game series in Atlanta on the strength of strong pitching performances by Jordan Zimmermann and Dan Haren.
The Nats' left-handed starter will be facing a Pirates team that's put up a combined .215/.274/.335 line against left-handers this year. Here's the lineup that will take on Pittsburgh and back Detwiler up tonight in the first of three in PNC:
Davey's Lineup, Fri at PIT/G30: Span cf, Desmond ss, Harper lf, Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Moore rf, Espinosa 2b, Suzuki c, Detwiler lhp.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) May 3, 2013
Ryan Zimmerman was officially reinstated by the Nats this afternoon. Anthony Rendon was returned to Double-A Harrisburg. Jayson Werth's still not expected to go on the DL, but word out of Pittsburgh tonight (on the Twitters) was that he's not likely to play this weekend. Tyler Moore's in right field tonight, starting there for the first time in his major league career though he's played right before, twice last season. Steve Lombardozzi's back on the bench as Davey Johnson gets Danny Espinosa back in the game. He's 0 for 3 vs Pirates' starter A.J. Burnett in their respective careers, with two Ks. Game time 7:05 pm EST from PNC...