The Washington Post

What’s behind Ross Detwiler’s recent hot streak?

(Alex Brandon/AP)

“It’s something I take from Gio,” Detwiler said. “He has fun. He’s relaxed. Obviously, he seems to get the best out of himself that way. I figured I’d try that and see how it went.”

It has gone well. In Detwiler’s five starts since rejoining the Nationals’ rotation, the Nationals have gone 4-1 and he has a 2.35 ERA. He may be the Nationals’ fifth starter, but he has kept up with the top of their rotation. When he takes the mound tomorrow, Detwiler will be coming off two straight starts in which he pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run combined.

Manager Davey Johnson feels Detwiler’s recent surge is a product of finding more comfort in the majors. “The more you pitch up here, the more you know what you’re up against,” Johnson said. In his last 24 starts, a span that began in the middle of 2011, Detwiler has a 3.26 ERA.

Detwiler also made a recent adjustment that has helped him. For the majority of his career, Detwiler relied far more on his sinking, two-seam fastball than his hard, straight four-seamer. He would throw the four-seamer inside to hitters, but that was it.

Pitching coach Steve McCatty sat down with Detwiler and suggested he throw more four-seamers, with the intention of making his two-seamer more effective. “He said, ‘Why not save it until you need a ground ball or something?’ ” Detwiler said. “If you throw them a four, four, four and then a two, they’re going to mis-hit it.”

More from The Washington Post

Front office ready for trade deadline

Thursday’s Nats-Brewers lineups

NL East landscape changing

Bullpen complicates victory

Strasburg masterful in Nats win

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans