“As much as I wish, we weren’t going to win every game the rest of the season,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “We’re going to lose just like everyone loses. You know, we won the series.”
After they foundered most of the afternoon, the Nationals still managed to get the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. After a leadoff single by Cesar Izturis and missiles off the wall by Michael Morse and Tyler Moore, the Nationals scored two runs and forced Arizona to call on closer J.J. Putz with one out. Steve Lombardozzi drew a two-out walk to bring Roger Bernadina to the plate with two on. Bernadina struck out, and the Nationals had to contemplate starting a new win streak.
The mostly ugly day provided a blip in one of the best sustained stretches of baseball since baseball returned to D.C. The Nationals had won 12 of their previous 13 games on the road. They will still head to San Francisco with a 71-44 record, 6-1 on their current trip.
“Any time you lose, it stinks, no matter what,” said catcher Kurt Suzuki, whom the Nationals traded for on Aug. 4. “But I mean, that’s the first time I lost here.”
They were of course bound to lose at some point. The loss didn’t have to be quite so thorough.
Detwiler only yielded three hits and a walk during his 42
3 innings, but he lacked the sharpness from his past two starts, when he allowed two earned runs in 14 total innings. When he arrived at Chase Field, Johnson knew it would be a difficult day. Detwiler had trouble keeping food down, and rubbed the bridge of his nose to try to alleviate sinus pain.
Throughout his start, Detwiler took deep breaths on the mound. After the fourth inning, Johnson said, he could hardly stand in the dugout. He still went out for the fifth.
“He was really under the weather before he even started the game,” Johnson said. “You could tell by his mannerisms he didn’t feel right. He was all messed up. He gutted it out, though, for us.”
Detwiler refused to blame his performance on his health. He declined to provide details about his condition, to avoid making it an excuse.
“I just didn’t execute my pitches today,” Detwiler said. “The pitches were all up. They were able to get the barrel on it and not leave anything on the ground. If I’m feeling bad and I still get my pitches down, then I get outs. I don’t think that’s the excuse why I did bad at all.”