Is there such a thing as a forgotten pitching gem? Ross Detwiler might have a little something to say about that question.
Coming off the heels of a thrilling win for the Washington Nationals on Saturday afternoon that featured Bryce Harper blasting off once more, uncharacteristic bullpen struggles and extra-inning heroics from Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos, it was Detwiler’s wasted performance on the mound that found itself the slightly neglected piece of the puzzle.
Sure, the 27-year old found himself playing the role of the forgotten hero on this day, but it was arguably what he did on the mound that even made the victory possible. Allowing just an unearned run on six hits and a walk through six solid innings of work, Detwiler held his own against the high-powered Cincinnati Reds offense, keeping them in check even though his bullpen couldn’t do the same.
Aside from making a solid first impression in 2012, the lefty’s performance was also important in that it quickly made the team forget about its previous brutal 15-0 beating on Friday, and allowed them to get back to doing what they expected to do each time out — winning ball games.
While there’s little concern over the team’s top three starters, a weak performance from Detwiler would have been quite the dent to the Nationals’ armor, leaving the team with a fair share of early questions about the back end of the rotation, especially after Dan Haren struggled mightily just one day prior.
Luckily, any potential questions there have been preemptively answered by the No. 5 starter.
What he got out of all that work might have been just a hard-luck no-decision, and one that might end up being unfortunately ignored at that, given all the hoopla that went on for the rest of the game after he left the mound.
That said, it was just the shot in the arm rebound that the Nationals needed — and that’s not something his teammates will likely forget.