Ross Detwiler dominates the Miami Marlins in a 6-1 Nats win
Ross Detwiler threw 107 pitches in Miami last night -- almost all of them fastballs -- and it was enough to dominate once again, only this time his relief pitching didn't screw him over and the Washington Nationals walked away with a 6-1 win. The victory improves the Nationals to 9-6, good for second place in the NL East with a big divisional series against the Mets coming up this weekend in Queens.
In a rotation with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Dan Haren, Detwiler is often forgotten and he's certainly not the name people remember. He's been the best pitcher on the staff through three starts this season, but only got his first win last night because the bullpen has not been able to hold the leads he's handed them. That wasn't a problem last night, though, as Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano shut the door for once, combining for two hitless, scoreless innings with three strikeouts between them.
Detwiler was fantastic again, pitching 7 innings and giving up only 7 hits and one run while striking out five and walking none. The performance lowers his ERA to 0.90, sixth-lowest in the Majors. That number would be even lower if not for a blown call at home plate by umpire Greg Gibson, who started to call Chris Valaika out after he was clearly tagged by catcher Kurt Suzuki, but Gibson changed the call at the last second.
Manager Davey Johnson came out to argue, to no avail. "I said, `You had it right, and then you changed it," Johnson said. "We survived it."
It wasn't all good pitching, though. The Nats got some good hitting from Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi, Kurt Suzuki and Adam LaRoche. Harper, his head and stomach reeling from the flu, broke out of his recent slump and went 4-5, with a double, a run and an RBI to raise his batting average to .364. Lombardozzi, batting second, went 2-5 with a run, boosting his batting average to .381. LaRoche went 2-4 with a run and RBI, while Suzuki swung the big wood, going 2-3 with a double,a 5th-inning home run, 2 runs and 2 RBI. Suzuki is now hitting .360 and leading the team with .800 slugging percentage.
The Nationals began to take control of the game in the second inning when LaRoche and Ian Desmond both singled and were driven in by a Roger Bernandina groundout RBI and a Suzuki sacrifice fly. That 2-0 lead held until the top of the 5th, when Suzuki led off the inning by swattiing a 3-2 pitch 377 feet over the left field wall for a 3-0 lead. The Marlins cut the lead back to two when the scored their phoney-baloney run thanks to a missed call by the home plate umpire.
The Nats got it back in the 6th when Bryce Harper scored after Adam LaRoche singled to left. They were not done. In the seventh, Lombardozzi singled to center, getting Suzuki across the plate to increase the lead to 5-1. In the 9th, Jayson Werth walked and eventually scored when Harper scratched out an infield single to shortstop. That put the lead ta 6-1, the final score.