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Detwiler, Barrett take blame for loss

Apr 28, 2014, 6:04 AM EDT

Photo by the Associated Press Photo by the Associated Press

After Nationals starter Taylor Jordan left Sunday’s game due to a fever, relievers Ross Detwiler and Aaron Barrett had trouble picking up where he left off.

Inheriting a game tied at one, Detwiler and Barrett combined to give up three runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched, the deciding difference in the Nats’ loss to the Padres.

Detwiler gave up four hits and a walk, and also had a wild pitch, while Barrett allowed another hit and two walks, both to bring runners home with the bases loaded. Detwiler left with three earned runs, while Barrett walked away wondering if a change in his mechanics is needed.

Manager Matt Williams was direct in his description of both pitchers’ problems.

“Lack of command,” he said.

On Detwiler, Williams thinks his current role as long reliever may need to be adjusted to get him back on track. The lefty has now walked nine batters in eight appearances.

“It’s difficult with Det because we try to get him into situations where he can go one-plus, but it’s been sporadic,” Williams said. “We’ll look to get him in there more often, on a more regular basis. With the game today, we have to get him in there to get multiple innings. We need a long man in case we get back in the game.”

Williams thinks the walks are a result of his transition from starter to reliever.

“The only thing that I can think of is the more he pitches, the better feel he’s got. Being a former starter, he’s got that routine certainly. Up until today he’s walked some guys, but he’s done really well. It’s been sporadic though. If the games go our way, we’ll see if we can get him in there in some lefty-lefty matchups on a more regular basis.”

Detwiler said he felt fine in the bullpen before the game, but once he took the mound he didn’t have a good feel for his pitches.

“I couldn’t throw a strike,” he said. “It’s something where you go out there and you have to make an adjustment. I didn’t and it pretty much cost us the game.”

Detwiler gave up a run in the fifth inning on a single by Chris Denorfia. The hit scored Everth Cabrera who had just moved from second to third on Detwiler’s wild pitch.

Detwiler then allowed a pair of one-out singles in the sixth inning before being replaced by Barrett. Barrett, who has been an early season surprise for the Nats, had perhaps his worst day in the majors so far.

Barrett gave up a quick single to a pinch-hitting Nick Hundley to load the bases before striking out pitcher Ian Kennedy. Then, with two outs, Barrett walked both Cabrera and Wil Venable to score two runs.

“I let the team down,” Barrett said. “This is the big leagues and there’s no excuse for it. I had the opportunity to leave those guys there and I didn’t get it done. We could have tied that game. I didn’t do my job, but I just gotta keep getting better and go get them next time.”

Barrett, in fact, thinks his throwing motion was a bit off on Sunday. He watched film immediately after leaving the game and hopes to correct it before his next appearance.

“I looked at some film. I felt like I was rushing, rushing pretty bad,” he said. “My leg drive was going forward before my arm even had a chance to catch up. Just something small that’s mechanical that I gotta fix. At the end of the day, no matter what you’re doing mechanically, mentally or physically, you gotta find a way to get guys out and I didn’t do that today.”

  1. 3on2out - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    I like the way both of these guys took responsibility.

  2. DaveB - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    I also noted how quick and definitive MW was about saying that they needed to change the way they were using Det. I had been wondering why his use was so erratic (especially as compared to Blevins) … recently even wondering, for example, if they were trying to do something in the background to stretch him out and line him up with Jordan. It will be interesting to see they are able to get him regular outings, and if that helps him to be that “special” reliever they talked about.

  3. ArVAFan - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Indianapolis 2, Syracuse 1: Ryan Tatusko allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over six innings. Tyler Robertson and Xavier Cedeno tossed scoreless innings each. Will Rhymes went 1 for 3 with a walk. Brock Peterson went 1 for 4 with an RBI. Ryan Mattheus threw one pitch and was ejected from the game; four Syracuse batters were hit Saturday.

    Well, Ryan M, that’s no way to earn your way back to DC.

    • Section 222 - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      Well that’s a tease. What did he do? Throw at someone? Get caught with pine tar?

      • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        Maybe both teams were warned due to the 4 HBP and Mattheus was judged to have run afoul of it?

      • letswin3 - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        I heard it was a slider that spun out of the zone and hit a locker.

    • tcostant - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Mattheus stock has fallen so far, that when Carrett was send down earlier, he wasn’t even consider. Same thing when Cedeno was bought up, Mattheus has become an afterthought.

  4. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    The ump saw the knuckle on his head and threw him out on general principles.

    • NatsLady - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      ++++++++++++++ 1,000,000

  5. natsfan1a - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Umm, yeah. I kinda noticed that myself. :-)

    ===

    Manager Matt Williams was direct in his description of both pitchers’ problems.

    “Lack of command,” he said.

    • stoatva - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Sort of like chalking up a loss to the other team’s having scored more runs. Ahhhh, I see.

    • Section 222 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Yeah, that does seem like a lame answer. Just one step above “he was too amped up”, or “he didn’t stay within himself.”

  6. NatsLady - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    All right guys, need a good road trip. No. 5 did the best he could, given a fever. No. 4 had a complete-game shut out. Gio, Stras and JZ seem to be getting into their grooves. Going to NEED good pitching because 1/3 of the lineup’s on the DL!

    • texnat1 - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Well the Houston Lastros are exactly what the doctor ordered to get some positive mojo going as far as pitching goes.

      Last I checked they were hitting under 200 as a team.

      • adcwonk - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        They’ve actually been on a bit of a hot streak (for them). They’ve scored 5, 7, and 5 runs in their last three games — 33 in their last seven — and got their team BA up to .210 (In comparison: Nats have scored 32 in their last seven, and that even includes the 11-1 blowout)

  7. Joe Seamhead - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    In the past couple of weeks I got to witness live a Jayson Werth grand slam, a guy hit his 500th home run, and Tanner Roark’s 3 hit compete game gem. Along with a slew of nice plays. Not a bad couple of weeks in the life and times for oL’ Seamhead! I have, of course,forgotten all about a couple of losses and a few errors, but will remember all of the good mentioned!

    • NatsNut - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Seamhead, go to more games, please.

    • adcwonk - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      And that’s why we’re baseball fans and go to games!

      Awesome!

    • shepdave - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      I am deeply envious. I have attended five games, including the home opener, and have yet to witness a win in person.

      • NatsNut - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        shepdave, stop going to games, please. ;)

      • Dave - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Yep, that’s probably the solution.

        There are both of my comments now! I am both Dave and shepdave, but from now on I’ll be Dave here, since that’s what I have been for years on NI.

    • Dave - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      I may have posted this already from a WordPress alter ego, but anyway…

      I’m really envious of you, Seam. I’ve been to five games so far, starting with the home opener, and the Nats haven’t yet won when I was in the stadium. Bummer.

  8. Hiram Hover - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Wasn’t it Barrett who has publicly talked about losing his confidence and having major command problems early in his MiLB career, before he turned it around?

    Hope yesterday was just a blip, but that’s what yesterday’s performance made me think of.

    • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Yeah, big write up in the post recently about “the yips” he developed upon ascending to MiLB. It was on my mind, too.

    • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      I’d rather have him fresh off the DL than in mid-season form…but…still.

      On the flipside, we may get Ramos back for the same series…here’s hoping!

  9. edshelton2013 - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I’m guessing Mattheus hit a guy with his first (and only) pitch. This came after several HBs and presumably, warnings to both managers.

  10. NatsNut - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Did ya’ll hear how loud the crack was when the ball hit Danny’s knee? First couple times I saw the replay (camera shot from pitcher’s angle), I thought the loud pop was the ball going into the catcher’s glove. But then realized the ball bounced off to the side and the loud pop was the ball against knee. Makes me a little nauseous. Danny is one tough dude.

    • snerdblurter - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      really hope its not serious. he deserves better than that, especially for how hard he’s worked to revamp his approach at the plate and take advantage of the opportunity this year…. but on the other hand, lets hope he doesnt try to play through an injury that one shouldnt be playing through again…

  11. 3on2out - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    The Lastros just took two from the FirstAs.

  12. lplipty - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Harper is at fault for not knowing the game situation. His at bat put the Nats up 5-0, it was no need to slide head first. I could see if the Nats were down or tied with one out and we needed him at third.

    • natsjackinfl - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      The above post is definitely something that should appear on twitter from the notorious “MASN Commenter”.

      • snerdblurter - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        +1 natsjack.

      • 6ID20 - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        Despite Kilgore’s assertions to the contrary, it really is stupid for any player to go into the bag head first as a matter of course. There is much more potential for injury doing so. It’s a fact. Zimmerman diving into second head first to avoid a pickoff throw, okay. There really is no other option there. But Harper or any other player going in head first on a steal or to get the extra base on a hit is always a stupid move, no matter what the game situation is.

      • lplipty - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        +1,000,000

    • scmargenau - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      He’s just not wired that way

      • NatsLady - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        True. But I thought Rick Ankiel taught him the hook slide. Maybe that doesn’t work at third base with the way the fielder is positioned?

      • 6ID20 - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        He’s going to have two hands full of wires by the end of his career if he doesn’t quit.

  13. NatsLady - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    baseballreference.com has a Simple Rating System (SRS) that takes into consideration run differential and strength of schedule. Atlanta is rated 2.5. Nats are at 1.8. Those are the top two teams in all of MLB, better than all the teams in the AL East, better than Oakland at 1.4 and the Dodgers at -0.7. And that’s WITH all the injuries. Take heart, people.

    • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Interesting, thanks.

    • NatsNut - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      LIKE!

  14. Theophilus T.S. - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Bill Nye the Science Guy, or the science guy on ESPN, needs to do a piece on the physics of sliding head — or feet — first. My first impression is that a runner giving head first at full speed has more momentum than a runner launching into a feet-first slide. And possibly more control over where he touches the bag. And that seems to be what the players’ viewpoint. The question is whether there are any “unnecessary” head first slides where the risk of injury outweighs the marginal benefits. And I suppose — assuming there are any advantages in the first place — that anything that requires a slide of any type is close enough to require sliding head first. But then, why would any player ever slide feet first — except maybe to flash spikes at the second baseman/shortstop? I think there are some players — Harper among them — who slide head first for dramatic effect; as someone said, that’s how Harper is wired. I do think on the play where he was injured he would have been safe either way.

    • 6ID20 - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Unlike Little League, bases in MLB have no give to them at all. They might as well be concrete walls. The only science that’s relevant here is how fast your hand needs to be moving when you slam it into a concrete wall before you get injured.

    • stoatva - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      The second sentence begins with my candidate for spell correct disaster of the year. I’ll say no more.

      • scnatsfan - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        lol

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        I had to read Theo’s 2nd sentence again. That deserves a LOL.

      • natsfan1a - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        I am happy to give everyone a hoot.

        It was an editing error, don’t blame spell correct.

    • Section 222 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      I’d also like to see an analysis of what percentage of head first slides vs. feet first slides result in injury that requires players to miss games. This has happened time after time after time to the Nats. Remember the flash in the pan that was Nyjer Morgan? Zim’s first shoulder injury came on a head first dive into home (he also tried to dive over someone).

      Thumb injuries from sliding head first seem second to TJ surgeries as this year’s most popular ticket to the DL.

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Day off. Does anyone have any good news?

    The 2 Spring Training surprises in Aaron Barrett and Zach Walters are just another example of not getting too high or low from what you see in Spring Training and small sample sizes to start a season.

    Major League baseball will humble the best and it’s how you bounceback and adjust.

  16. Section 222 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Barrett, like Ian Krol, was quickly annointed the second coming, future closer, etc. etc. Then, like Krol, he came down to earth. Remains to be seen whether he can be big surprise piece of our bullpen puzzle over the long term. I like that he’s immediately searching for answers. Hope he finds them and can adjust.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      That’s the perfect comparison of Barrett/Krol. Both guys have electric stuff but the game is cruel and will humble the best. Look what Barrett did to Giancarlo Stanton and then Sunday could not find the K zone.

      • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Usually I’d say Barrett’s fall to earth is in itself a small sample size, but his performance yesterday brought strongly to mind his run in with the yips earlier in his career. It wasn’t the game humbling him so much as his own inability to execute.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Eric, I would agree on yesterday but if you take a look at him the past few games he has given up hits and allowed a key inherited run to score leading up to yesterday where he couldn’t find the strike zone.

        To me it’s going to be how he bounces back. He has the aresenal and showed all Spring Training and the beginning of April that he has electric stuff. The league could adjust to him but my concern is his breaking pitch which was so devastating looks much flatter and that’s not good. He was the talk of the town when he “got” Giancarlo Stanton.

      • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        Right. I didn’t mean to dispute that he’s come down to earth, just that, aside from yesterday, it wasn’t a horrific crash, and he’s only struggled in one or two outings (again, excluding yesterday).

        Yesterday was more worrying to me due to past issues; the other stuff just seems like standard adjustment/readjustment patterns that play out all the time. Certainly he may fail to adjust, but if he has another bout with the yips it will be immaterial anyway.

        His next outing will tell us a lot about whether it was the yips or just being over-rested or something. Obviously it will take longer than that to see how he handles league adaptations, manages potential arm fatigue arising from increased use with higher pressure stakes, etc.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Eric, good analysis and it’s certainly in “wait and see” for his next appearance. I hope he regains what we saw during those first few appearances of 2014.

      • Eric - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Thanks Ghost, and a hearty +1 to hoping he gets back to early season form, or even just 90% of the way back to that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Guys like Roark, TaylorJ, Barrett, Treinen can all be success stories in player development. Success is built over time.

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