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Ross Detwiler handles elimination pressure with aplomb

Oct 11, 2012, 7:55 PM EDT

Ross Detwiler Reuters

Plenty of writers have blasted the Nationals for shutting down Stephen Strasburg. Many of them were likely looking forward to doing it again if only his postseason rotation replacement, Ross Detwiler, would have obliged them by getting lit up and taking a loss as the Nationals were eliminated today.

Detwiler, of course, had other ideas. And it shouldn’t come as any big surprise that a guy with a 3.40 ERA during the regular season was able to hold down the Cardinals for six innings, even with the season on the line. There was perhaps some reason to be nervous; Detwiler hadn’t pitched in 12 days and his last outing, against these very same Cardinals, was probably his worst of the entire year.

Detwiler, though, came out with pretty good command Thursday and kept the Cardinals guessing by mixing up his pitches and changing speeds well. He allowed just three hits, all of which were singles. The only run he allowed came as the result of an error. That he struck out just two didn’t seem to matter.

It was a terrific outing, likely better than the one Strasburg would have turned in pitching in his place. As talented as Strasburg is, there’s a good chance he’d be wearing down had the Nationals allowed him to keep pitching. He may well have been even before he was shut down, as he struggled against the Marlins in two of his final three outings.

While it will continue to be debated in the weeks going forward, Detwiler did the best he could to render the Strasburg decision irrelevant. And hopefully he made a name for himself, too. Terming him a fourth starter doesn’t do him justice, and like Strasburg, he’ll be a part of more postseason rotations going forward.

 

  1. East Coast Raider - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Kid doesn’t get enough respect, and kid still won’t get enough respect. But two years from now, when the Nats have the “veteran” rotation of Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann and Detwiler, he won’t be thought of as the forgotten starter.

  2. vcupats - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I wonder what worthless GM brought him up through the system.

  3. recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    I wish they’d sat Jackson and pitched Detwiler yesterday and Gio today on short rest. Anybody but Jackson, frankly. That disaster was foreseeable for miles yesterday.

    • kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Eh…even if Strasburg started and pitched a 7 inning, one run gem, they still lose. Can’t win if you don’t score.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        True enough. But I think the 4-run hole after 1.5 innings demoralized the team a wee bit. They’ve seen it from EJax before.

        And we can finally stop talking about Strasburg – this team wasn’t good enough, frankly, to win any of the first three games with the bat, so as you said, Stras wouldn’t have made any difference. This series will be won or lost tomorrow in a setting where he wouldn’t have taken the ball anyhow – it was always going to be Gio first and last.

  4. dakotah55 - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    ” there’s a good chance he’d [Strasburg] be wearing down had the Nationals allowed him to keep pitching”.

    Prepare yourself Matthew, for you shall feel the wrath of the internet.

    • goskinsvt - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      13 ERs over his last 26 innings (5 starts). But no, he was probably as good as the beginning of the season….

  5. kkolchak - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    People forget that Detwiler was the number 6 overall pick in 2007. He just took awhile to develop.

  6. sumerduckman - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    The young man stepped it up, and matured today as a pitcher. It was great fun to watch.
    Jordan Zimmermann was dealing in the seventh!

    • recoveringcubsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      And nice to see Clippard finally get it done, too!

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Finally? I thought he was pretty good this season.

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