26-year-old '07 1st Rounder Ross Detwiler saved the best for last in 2011, at least according to Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson, who praised the left-hander's work in his final start of the season last September. Detwiler worked out of the pen for a time last season, but he'd been slowly transitioned back to a starting role under Johnson's guidance late last year. The lefty held the desperate Atlanta Braves to four hits in 6.0 scoreless in that last start, continuing a string of 13.1 scoreless innings pitched that stretched back to his previous outing against Philadelphia. Davey Johnson said Detwiler's start against the then-free-falling Braves,"... was probably the biggest game of the year for him. Going against this club and holding them down to zilch. What did he give up three hits, four hits? Just a great effort and coming off shutting down the Phillies for 7.0+, that was back-to-back great efforts against good-hitting ballclubs."
Detwiler faces Atlanta for the first time since last September in the first game of the Nationals' three-game set with the Braves tonight at 7:35 pm EDT in Turner Field. In his five-year career, Detwiler's (1-0) with a 3.26 ERA, 11 walks (5.12 BB/9) and 11 K's (5.12 K/9) in six games, three starts and 19.1 IP against the Braves, over which he's surrendered 18 hits and eight runs, seven earned. In Atlanta, Det's got a 1.80 ERA, seven walks and six K's in 10.0 IP. Here's the lineup that will take the field behind Detwiler tonight:
#Nats Lineup: Lombardozzi LF, Harper RF, Zimmerman 3B, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Ankiel CF, Flores C, Detwiler LHP— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 25, 2012