“I was actually pleased with the way Det threw the ball,” Johnson said. “That was going to be a game where I’m not going to let him throw a lot of pitches when it doesn’t look like we’re going to have much of an attack. I’m not going to push him in a game where I feel like we’re going to score two or three runs.”
Johnson made his determination based on how the Nationals approached Fiers, who made his 10th career start. Fiers bedeviled the Nationals with his funky delivery, high release and rainbow curveball. They managed four hits off Fiers in 61
3 innings, and he struck out nine.
Detwiler came into the night chasing two spectacular starts, having allowed one run over 14 innings. He pitched well again until two spasms of inadequacy ruined his night. The Brewers scored all of their runs off Detwiler in the fourth and fifth innings, both frames he began with two quick strikeouts before unraveling.
As Johnson strided to the mound to remove Detwiler, the starter talked into his glove, and he kept his mitt over his mouth as he walked off the field and into the dugout. He had allowed seven hits and walked one while striking out five.
For Detwiler, both the pitches he did not locate and the timing of his exit ate at him. He left a runner on base, and needed just one more out to reach a full five innings.
“Everything,” Detwiler said. “I don’t want to come out of the game ever, especially in a spot like that. But I put us in a hole early, and it’s tough to dig out of that hole.”
Detwiler watched as Craig Stammen allowed one of his runners to score — bringing his total to four — and then as Aramis Ramirez put the game out of reach with a two-run homer off Stammen.
Detwiler wanted to make one adjustment for his next start. He felt at times on Friday he overthrew, which caused his pitches to elevate. He wanted instead to pitch with a better downward angle, which would prevent his pitches from sailing high over the plate. “Another four days until the next one,” he said. “I don’t think I was that far off. There’s not much to change.”
The Nationals (59-40) entered Friday night not only with six consecutive victories, but also an incredible, uncommon streak. According to ESPN’s research, they were the third team since 1900 to win six straight while scoring at least five runs and holding their opponent to two runs or fewer in each game. They outscored their opponents 40-12 over the win streak.