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Detwiler’s chance of a lifetime

Sep 30, 2012, 2:00 PM EST

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse is congratulated by Adam LaRoche following his unusual grand slam.

ST. LOUIS — Ross Detwiler sat by his locker Friday afternoon, doing the math in his head. The Nationals' magic number at that point was 3. He knew there was a chance he would take the mound today with the Nationals in position to clinch the NL East title, and he knew he really wanted that opportunity, unlikely as he thought that might be.

"You always want to be the guy to do it," he said. "I have a feeling it's going to happen before I get the ball. But it would definitely be a very special moment if I was the person that got handed the ball with a chance to clinch."

Well, turns out Detwiler will get that chance. The magic number is down to 1 this morning, so when the left-hander takes the mound at Busch Stadium, he knows he can pitch the Nationals to their first-ever division title, no matter what anyone else does.

And he can do it in his hometown, in front of dozens of friends andRead more ยป

  1. mick - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Det can do this… should be a low scoring game as Cards have a pretty good 17 game winner throwing.now watch, the score will be 10-9, lol

  2. mick - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Yep, Det on an extra days rest. Attack!

  4. mick - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    the finish in both leagues is going to be priceless for all fansDodgers close with Giants, if Giants are locked din at 3rd seed, do they rest players, allowing the Dodgers to win the last 3?Cards play Reds, if reds are playing for 1 seed verse Nats, what is their approach?I would think going into Monday, Brewers are already eliminated making it a race between Dodgers and Cards for last playoff spot? dodger are 2 back as of this morining.So, today's game really should be the game of the week Nats-Cards

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    While I'm happy for Det to get this opportunity to do this in front of family amd friends, I have serious concerns about him being too amped up and overthrowing instead of pitching.McCatty needs to be in his ear starting from long toss till the second he walks out to the mound in the bottom of the first.

  6. Doc - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Now if Davey could just get Det to mix in his curve and change, we could up our chances today.GoooooooooooDet!!! GoooooooooooooNats!!!

  7. terpman33 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Can't believe the moment is finally here! This is what I've been waiting for ever since the DC Council was debating building the stadium to bring the Expos here. I want to say congrats to the whole team for a wonderful season, and I look forward to much success in the playoffs.I also have a question that I need someone to answer (which I hope is not a clown question, lol): If we do clinch today, are the Nats gonna have non-alcoholic beverages to celebrate? Of course, I'm talking about Bryce still being under 21. I only say this because I believe it would be a bad PR hit to have an underage Bryce celebrating with alcohol, particularly with organizations that champion against underage drinking, such as MADD and SADD. Now i realize that Bryce doesn't drink, but considering the PR side of the Nats have made so many mistakes (that I won't bother mentioning), this is just one to avoid. Also, it could just be the paranoia in me! Anyway, congrats again to a great season, and GYFNG, baby!!!!

  8. mick - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    good point Nats Jack, but I think Det will come out cool and collective and in command of his pitches

  9. mick - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    terpman33 hee hee, well I don't know if Nats will have non alcoholic beverages, i assure I will be having the real thing, lol

  10. Another_Sam - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Nice piece, MZ.

  11. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Sorry I didn't get to post this last night, and perhaps someone else called attention to it, but I was struck by the near-tragic irony of the fact that: if Zimmerman had been positioned against Kozma in the 7th inning where he was in the 9th, Kozma's 2-run double would have been a routine groundout. And, if Zimmerman had been positioned against Kozma in the 9th inning where he was in the 7th, his game-tying single would also have been a routine groundout.I'm not saying it was Z's fault, or the positioners in the dugout. It was more like another example of the baseball gods sense of humor. But in the end, they had to let the Nats win, in order to enhance the importance of the greater delicious joke of MikeyMo's phantom grand slam.

  12. Section 222 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Ghost, Det last pitched in Philly on Sept. 25, losing to Hamels. He's starting today on regular rest, right?

  13. A DC Wonk - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I haven't seen this mentioned yet — but (obviously) the Nats might clinch before the game's over.The Braves' game starts 40 minutes before the Nats game. They could lose before our game is over.

  14. Feel Wood - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I also have a question that I need someone to answer (which I hope is not a clown question, lol): If we do clinch today, are the Nats gonna have non-alcoholic beverages to celebrate? Of course, I'm talking about Bryce still being under 21.I'm sure they will have a non-alcoholic option available for Bryce, but they're not going to go totally alcohol-free like the Rangers did for Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is a recovering alcoholic, while Bryce is merely underage. People who are underage or who are otherwise non-drinkers should have no problem handling themselves when alcohol is present. Not so for recovering alcoholics. That's why Josh Hamilton merited special treatment and Bryce doesn't.

  15. Feel Wood - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    The Braves' game starts 40 minutes before the Nats game. They could lose before our game is over.If so, the umps will just make them re-enact their loss for dramatic effect when the Nats game is over, like they made the Beast re-enact his grand slam.

  16. Section 222 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Agree with Feel. It would be overkill for the Nats to go alcohol free. I'm sure Bryce has been at a party or in a restaurant where alchohol was served.James Wagner at Nats Journal had a piece yesterday about the difficulties lining up Gio for the playoffs, given the continued uncertainty about when game 1 for the Nats will be. All the rest of the rotation will be well rested, but Gio's situation is tricky. I've been wondering about this for a week or so. Will be interesting to see how Davey handles it and Wagner's piece suggested that he's unsure at this point as well.

  17. Joe Seamhead - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    We got this, folks. We clinch today!BTW, I made a prediction last November 1 on Nats Insider. That was my story then, and I'm sticking to it:Joe Seamhead said… I honestly think that the last regular season series against the Phillies next year will be meaningless. The Nats will have the division sewn up and the Phillies will be out of the playoffs. Regardless of what Vegas says, the Phillies are in serious trouble. Starting with Howard, moving on to old age setting in, and with few guys coming up from within. Utley is a shell of his former self, Rollins is insisting on a new five year contract, Polanco and Ibanez are toast, and I don't see the starters carrying this team as they did last year. Those guys threw a lot of innings with a " win now" mentality, and it will show next season. Their bullpen is questionable, at best. The torch gets passed to the Nationals and Braves, starting now, and the Washington club has a better manager and similar talent. GYFNG!!! November 01, 2011 7:38 AM

  18. Section 222 - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    JoeS, I want some of whatever you were smoking last November. Well done!

  19. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    It was reported that Bryce drank either water or sparkling water (depends on the source) when the team had their champagne toast earlier this month.

  20. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    On a game note: Go, DET! Go, NATS BATS (the real kind, not the invisible kind)!!

  21. Drew - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Let's go Ross! Show 'em back home in the "Show Me" state.One postscript from the discussion in the last thread about Miguel Cabrera. At 29 years old he has a .318 lifetime batting average to go with his 320 home runs.Looking ahead, only nine players in major league history finished with a lifetime .300 average and 500 home runs. Who lives in this exclusive neighborhood? Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Arod, ManRam, Foxx, Frank Thomas, Williams, Ott.Cabrera could drop off of the list in his late-30s decline phase, as Mantle and Frank Robinson did and as Arod will. (His career average now sits at .300.)Pujols, with a .325 lifetime average, is 25 homers from joining that list for good.My point is — whether or not Miguel Cabrera is a good guy — he is a historically great hitter.

  22. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    The rotation issue and setting up Gio is an interesting topic…Of course, finishing 1st overall would solve it, and he could go on regular rest…Just another reason to GO FOR THE Z!!!

  23. A DC Wonk - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Actually, Joe Seamhead, I remember that post! I thought it was a very fun fantasy.Sometimes dreams _do_ come true!!

  24. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Nice piece on Sheldon Adams, aka the sec. 310 announcer guy.

  25. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I remember the post, too, Joe, although I confess I forgot who had said it. Many congrats on winning the 2012 NOY*(*Nostradamus Of the Year Award)

  26. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Here you go.Swift Eagle said… Just another reason to GO FOR THE Z!!!

  27. waddu eye no - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Get em dess rotwiler!Hope i can get 3g in the national gallery. And hope the conductor doesnt see the earbuds while im singing rehearsalMight be first mozart requiem i sing in a nats hat

  28. Scooter - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I have serious concerns about [Detwiler] being too amped up and overthrowing instead of pitching.McCatty needs to be in his ear starting from long toss till the second he walks out to the mound in the bottom of the first."Remember thou art mortal … Remember thou art mortal …"

  29. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Waddu, just don't break out into "Let's All Cheer for the Washington Nats" in mid-rehearsal!

  30. Scooter - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Idle thought on a Sunday morning … I'm vaguely surprised that nobody's quoted himself from four months ago, saying that Stammen should be the closer.

  31. Doc - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    From God's mouth to Det's ear: "Toss in some curves early!"

  32. Joe Seamhead - Sep 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I really think Ross will do great today, and will get will get by with a little help from his friends. I keep watching the replay of Morse's grand slam and I laugh harder every time i watch it! When Michael swings the phantom bat and Bob Carpenter says "SEE. YOU. LATER!" I'm just about peeing myself here! And after swinging the phantom bat, and driving the phantom ball out, Morse runs the bases and does his trademark head slap! Man, this is an all time classic! The only thing better would have been if it had been a walk off to clinch the division!

  33. NatsNut - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Seamhead. Me too. I keep going back to watch it and cracking up. I love FP giggling in the background. Charlie and Dave did the exact same thing on the radio version – Charlie re-calling it and Dave giggling behind him. So freaking funny.

  34. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Another great "slap" moment was Suzuki's post-game-winner reprise of Werth's single clap following his hit against the Phillies.

  35. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I will be on a plane when the game starts. Have the DVR set should be home in time to savor the finish!GO DET! GO BATS! GYFNG!!!

  36. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    [coaching visit to mound]McCatty: Excuse me, but what the he### going on out here?Zuk: Well, Det's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live… is it a live rooster?[Espi nods]Zuk: We need a live rooster to take the curse off Espi's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Mikey or Craig for their wedding present.[to the players]Zuk: Is that about right?NatsJack in Florida said… While I'm happy for Det to get this opportunity to do this in front of family amd friends, I have serious concerns about him being too amped up and overthrowing instead of pitching.McCatty needs to be in his ear starting from long toss till the second he walks out to the mound in the bottom of the first.September 30, 2012 10:26 AM

  37. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Safe travels, Michele.I think FP giggling is my favorite part of all. :-)

  38. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    1a. One amendmentThe curse is on Espi's bat.

  39. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Heh, good point. I also left this off:Zuk: We're dealing with a lot of [stuff].

  40. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    1A cellphone doesn't stream that well but heard enough of FP giggling that i will watch it again as soon as i get home

  41. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Btw last nights game better be an instant classic on MASN.

  42. Nattering Nat - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    OK guys, you've got ME amped up, I hope more than Det is. Today, this is simply the most important baseball game a Washington team has played in the last what, 79 years? TODAY! If not today, then tomorrow, but for now, let's say today.I really do hope Det can do it, as we need him to remain confident–too many Nats pitchers are having one on, one off day. But that's for tomorrow–today is for hoping we can finally let our hair down and actually celebrate something really significant for a Washington baseball team.Is that asking too much, too soon??

  43. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    My point is — whether or not Miguel Cabrera is a good guy — he is a historically great hitter. And Rendon is considered by many to be the best college hitter in over a decade and a potential gold glove … plus he's younger and more athletic?Stop looking outside … its not how this team is intended to be built. If they didn't go for Fielder (and they still do need more of left handed presence in the lineup) they aren't going to go for Cabrera. Tyler Moore gets a shot first I would imagine and even he is a long shot.

  44. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    We all wanted meaningful games in September. This is our last chance.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Hello? Who said anything about going for Cabrera?

  46. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    OK guys, you've got ME amped up, I hope more than Det is. Today, this is simply the most important baseball game a Washington team has played in the last what, 79 years? TODAY! If not today, then tomorrow, but for now, let's say todayLet's hope he's not amped up. His job is to go out and take care of business; attempt to get as deep into the game as he can to spare a bullpen that has not been performing as it was earlier in the season. That means keeping his pitch count down and using his defense. Getting ahead of hitters and pounding the strike zone.

  47. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Hello? Who said anything about going for Cabrera? Drew said:My point is — whether or not Miguel Cabrera is a good guy — he is a historically great hitter.I've seen some of the bandwagoners talking about bringing in David Wright as well. But, they've already signed these guys and put them on the 40-man roster. Stick with the ones who brung ya. And that includes Danny Espinosa.

  48. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    JoeSApparently if you mention another player you will be lectured about it despite the fact no one ever mentioned bringing him to the Nats.

  49. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Btw last nights game better be an instant classic on MASN. Two teams with over 90-wins that have been covered exclusively by MASN? One in each league? If it weren't for the contention between the Lerner ownership group and the Angelos ownership group it would be happy days! Ravens coverage has been put on the back burner.But it still burns the heck out of me to select Nationals under the media/video section. Select and play the video I want to see and then afterward look at the bottom and see mostly Ori'hoes selections with a small smattering of Nats. You have to go up and reselect Nationals again! We know which side of that piece of bread is buttered.

  50. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    JoeSApparently if you mention another player you will be lectured about it despite the fact no one ever mentioned bringing him to the Nats. A very strong inference was there … Miss smartypants clique gurl.

  51. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Idle thought on a Sunday morning … I'm vaguely surprised that nobody's quoted himself from four months ago, saying that Stammen should be the closer. Well he does have 1 save. One could say the same thing about Zach Duke and his .089 ERA? Although that's not the stat I would look at. I suppose the average fan doesn't see just how much stress the back-end of the bullpen has been under not just this season but last season and even 1 before. Its going to be interesting to see how Davey manages that issue in the playoffs.

  52. MicheleS - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Umm peric. If you read the entire discussion it was about Miggy winning the triple crown and how some were torn about that. No one inferred they wanted Miggy.

  53. JaneB - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    My husband grew up a Cards fan, from Webster Groves MO.When the Mets were taken out by the Cards for the NL title a few years ago, he watched upstairs and I watched downstairs and the kids fled the scene, scared. Still, I rooted for the Nats over my childhood team by 2006. Jeff rooted for the Nats until the Cards came to time. I had a hard time sitting next to him, and he had a hard time behaving himself at those games.Well, this year, Jeff turned the corner. SO even die-hard Cards fans can learn to love different red unis and the players in them.I love that Det's family and friend will be there today.ANd seamhead: I remember reading that post and thinking, " He may be right that the Phillies will have aged out of the discussion, but we won't be in the playoffs unless they add that second wild card." I love how right you were and how wrong I was!GYFNG!

  54. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Now i realize that Bryce doesn't drink, but considering the PR side of the Nats have made so many mistakes (that I won't bother mentioning), this is just one to avoid.And he's made it pretty clear he doesn't plan on starting anytime soon. Thus the legend of "That's a clown question bro". I think the clubhouse will see to that. Davey seems to often be in dead serious mode now that the playoffs are here. He seemed particularly unhappy with EJax and he isn't usually that "sharp".

  55. Feel Wood - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    peric's Triple Crown: Me, Myself and I.

  56. NCNatsie - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Peric, I find zero inference in Drew's original post about Carbrera that the Nats should acquire him. Zero.But I find an unconscionable slur in your response to MichelleS.

  57. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Umm peric. If you read the entire discussion it was about Miggy winning the triple crown and how some were torn about that.They've mentioned it before … especially during the periods of longish offensive futility. I'm certain we'll hear it again. No one seems to bother to look at teams like the A's. A couple of former Nats prospects along with a number from other teams helped to get them where they are. And look at the Tigers versus the White Sox? The Nats have taken the right course. They will be better served by staying with it.

  58. peric - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    peric's Triple Crown: Me, Myself and I.Pot, kettle black.Gang up mode initialized begun of course by MichelleS. Because she is a female everyone jumps up to defend her. How droll.

  59. Joe Seamhead - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Well, it was a pleasant morning here.Reminds me of a bumper sticker…Oh, never mind.Nobody suggested, or inferred, that the Nationals should go after Miguel Cabrera. Not one regular poster, or even a "bandwagoner."You just come into the conversation and make these groundless, senseless, delusional comments and accusations. Then you start insulting people. Grow up.GYFNG!!!

  60. baseballswami - Sep 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    In a post game interview Bryce was asked directly if there would be soft beverages for him if there was a celebration. The kid is so confident and secure in himself and in his beliefs that he said — "Yes, for me and Drake LaRoche!" He is a walking, talking sound bite – so quotable. He could actually be a character in a baseball movie. By the way, for those of you who enjoy quoting Bull Durham? Bryce was born four years AFTER the movie came out. You can look it up.

  61. baseballswami - Sep 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    And about Ross? He does so much better when he has his swagger. Look at his mound demeanor in the first inning and you will know how it's going to go. Jordan was awesome when he had the same opportunity in Milwaukee. Maybe they have talked about it? Seems like Jordan would have a calming effect on Det.

  62. Joe Seamhead - Sep 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Swami, I agree. Bryce just seems to be a once in a lifetime treat for all of us, both on and off the field.

  63. Nats In Athens - Sep 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Bryce is a Mormon and they prohibit alcohol consumption so I think the point is moot. Even after he turns 21 he will most probably not consume alcohol. I also think that was the reason he gave the answer in Toronto.As far as lining up the rotation, I think it is pretty straight forward. If we win today and tomorrow, we most probably clinch first seed. If not we probably don't. Between the time the article was written and now we won a game and the Reds lost. So by the time Tuesday comes around we shall know much more than what the article said.

  64. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Just watched the early innings of the game, which I saw but did not hear because I was at a sports pub when they aired. In a pregame interview, FP closed by asked Bryce whether, seeing as how he's 19, they would squirt sparkling cider on him if they clinched. He laughed and replied "Yeah, probably. Me and Drake LaRoche." That's awesome. :-)

  65. natsfan1a - Sep 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Oops, after reading, I see that swami had that.Also just watched the part of the segment of MLB Tonight that covered the WAS/STL game. In addition to FP giggling, a STL broadcaster was cackling. So there's that. :-)

  66. waddu eye no - Sep 30, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Soon.

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