Apr 18, 2013, 4:17 AM EDT
Ross Detwiler tossed seven innings to earn his first win of the year.
MIAMI — On the surface, it may appear baffling how Ross Detwiler has been able to be so successful early this season when his pitching repertoire has been so basic. The Nationals left-hander has thrown 279 pitches in three starts, 258 of them fastballs. That’s an astounding 92.5 percent rate.
“A well-located fastball is still the hardest pitch to hit in the big leagues,” teammate Ryan Zimmerman said. “I think some people forget that sometimes.”
Detwiler is making everyone remember it. Amid a rotation full of star power and pure stuff, the 27-year-old has been the Nationals’ best starter so far during this young season. And with seven more strong innings Wednesday night against the Marlins, he finally was rewarded for his effort, leading the Nats to a 6-1 win to ensure a series victory in Miami.
Three starts in, Detwiler now boasts a 0.90 ERA, sixth-best in the majors. And if not for a blown call at the plate Wednesday by umpire Greg Gibson, that number would drop to a miniscule 0.45.
Not exactly your typical “No. 5 starter.”
“He’s definitely not,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s got great stuff, and he locates it well. He uses both sides of the plate as good as anybody I’ve seen. And his fastball’s explosive out of his hand. … He’s still in the learning stages, but he’s awfully good just right where he’s at.”
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