|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
This much we do know: Ross Detwiler is going to need to pitch better than he has been. In four starts since returning from an oblique strain, the left-hander is 0-2 with a 7.32 ERA. He complained of a stiff lower back after his last appearance, but he was able to throw his regular between-starts side session earlier this week and so he's good to go tonight.
Veteran Kyle Lohse gets the ball for the Brewers, facing a Nats lineup that would love to get back on track after last night's shutout loss. Please note the early 6:05 p.m. starting time tonight, giving everyone an extra hour of sleep in advance of tomorrow's 11:05 a.m. Independence Day game.
Updates to come...
MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 184
Weather: Scattered storms, 84 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to LF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler
RF Norichika Aoki
SS Jean Segura
CF Carlos Gomez
3B Aramis Ramirez
C Jonathan Lucroy
2B Rickie Weeks
1B Sean Halton
LF Logan Schafer
RHP Kyle Lohse
HP Dan Iassogna
1B Gerry Davis (cc)
2B Mark Carlson
3B Brian Knight
6:07 p.m. — And we're underway on a sweltering evening in the District. Ross Detwiler starts off Norichika Aoki with a fastball for strike one.
6:12 p.m. — And that's a 12-pitch, 9-strike, 1-2-3 top of the first for Detwiler, who didn't let a ball leave the infield. Got a groundball to short, a groundball to second and then fielded Carlos Gomez's bunt attempt to end the scoreless inning and get this game off on the right foot.
6:17 p.m. — And three flyball outs for the Nats against Kyle Lohse. That included a flyout to center by Jayson Werth on the very first pitch, uncharacteristic for him but something Davey Johnson has been preaching for his guys to do more regularly. It also included a drive deep to left-center by Bryce Harper ... but only deep enough to be caught by a jumping Gomez at the base of the wall. Scoreless after one.
6:29 p.m. — Excellent start to this game by Detwiler. He's now retired six of seven batters faced, the last three on strikeouts. Two of his K's in the second were on curveballs. So far, so good for the left-hander.
6:38 p.m. — A scoring opportunity for the Nats in the bottom of the second after Adam LaRoche drew a one-out walk and Ian Desmond singled up the middle. But after a long at-bat, Anthony Rendon struck out looking at an inside pitch, and then Kurt Suzuki skied a flyball to left on the first pitch he saw to end the inning. Scoreless after two.
7:02 p.m. — Detwiler put himself into his first jam of the night in the top of the fourth: runners on first and second, nobody out. But he battled through it and escaped, thanks to a 5-4-3 double play and a groundout to short. So that's four scoreless now for the left-hander, who is putting together his best start in a while. Still 0-0 here heading to the bottom of the fourth.
7:08 p.m. — Lohse, meanwhile, is now through four scoreless innings on only 44 pitches. Hey, Davey Johnson wants his guys to be aggressive early in the count. And they have been tonight. That doesn't necessarily guarantee success, though, and it certainly hasn't so far. 0-0 heading to the fifth.
7:19 p.m. — The Brewers finally get to Detwiler in the fifth, with three base hits, including a leadoff double by Sean Halton and then a bunt single by Logan Schafer. That set the stage for Aoki's two-run single up the middle. So just like that, the Nats find themselves trailing 2-0 and needing to get something going against Lohse.
7:33 p.m. — The good news: The Nats did get something going in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to two-out singles by Suzuki and Detwiler (?!). But with a chance to deliver a big hit that would break the scoreless streak, Span was caught looking at a 3-2 curveball from Lohse to end the inning and kill the rally. So that's 14 scoreless innings now for the Nats lineup after they pounded out 23 runs in their previous 17. Still 2-0 Milwaukee after five.
7:45 p.m. — Another rough inning for Detwiler, though his problems began with an error on Harper in left field. Bryce let a line drive hit right at him bounce out of his glove for a very costly error, and things devolved from there. Jonathan Lucroy singled, and then after two outs, Logan Schafer laced a two-run triple to right-center. Detwiler has really faded over the last couple of innings, a common theme for him this season. He's at 95 pitches and is probably done for the night, having allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings. Nats trail 4-0 going to the bottom of the sixth.
8:02 p.m. — Craig Stammen replaces Detwiler in the seventh and gets three quick outs. But it's not going to mean anything if the Nats can't get to Lohse. They've totaled three singles and walk in six innings so far against the veteran right-hander. Still 4-0 at the stretch.
8:09 p.m. — Hey, it's a run! By the Nats! Rendon crushes his second career homer, a solo shot way back into the left-field bullpen. Unfortunately, that's all they did in the seventh against Lohse, so they still trail 4-1 and now are down to their final three outs.
8:23 p.m. — Major baserunning screw-ups by the Brewers in the top of the eighth. With runners on the corners and one out, Halton drove a flyball to deep center. Span had a long way to go but made the catch. And then, chaos ensued. Rickie Weeks, who had been on first base, nearly went all the way to third before realizing the ball had been caught, so he was doubled up easily. But Aramis Ramirez, who was on third base, also loafed his way toward the plate. If he had crossed the plate before the ball got to first base, he would've been credited with the run. Whatever the case, it's still 4-1, and the Nats have to feel fortunate about that.
8:29 p.m. — Not that they could take advantage of it. Lohse retires the side in the eighth. It's still 4-1.
8:39 p.m. — OK, last chance. It'll be Harper, Zimmerman and LaRoche in the bottom of the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez.
8:53 p.m. — It's over. Another frustrating offensive performance for the Nats, who lose 4-1 and fall back to .500. Two steps forward, two steps backward.