“I’d be a whole lot better on the road if I knew that,” he said. “But I think it’s just a routine thing. I’m able to get in the routine here. I have my places I go before starts at home, and obviously on the road, you’re in a different city, so you can’t do that. So hopefully that’s what it is and I’ll go about that tomorrow.”
Detwiler, like he does during the season before his starts, will wake up without an alarm. He will eat small meals continuously throughout the day, loading up on as many calories as he can without having a big meal. And then, in the afternoon, he will take the ball with the Nationals’ playoff future in his hands.
The Nationals are on the brink of elimination after an 8-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday in front of a record crowd at Nationals Park in Game 3 of the NLDS.
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Johnson said he has full confidence in Detwiler and doesn’t see his start on Thursday in isolation. When he was asked if he would consider starting Gio Gonzalez on three days rest Thursday, the Nats manager shot down the idea.
“I wouldn’t do that,” he said. “We have two more ballgames. Det’s capable of pitching a good game tomorrow. That’s been our strength all year. These young guys have pitched great all year. Need a couple more good-pitched games this series.”
As backup, Jordan Zimmermann, who started Monday, could be available Thursday, his regular throwing day in between starts.
“I have all the confidence in the world that [Detwiler] is going to go out there and have a quality outing,” pitching coach Steve McCatty said. “We all say he’s young. Ross is 26 years old. He’s got experience. He’s been in the big leagues. This is his first time in the postseason. It’s hard to say, treat it like another game, but that’s what you got to do.”
As for Jackson, 29, the lone Nationals starter with postseason experience, his undoing Wednesday was his command early in the game. “I was just missing across the middle of the plate,” he said.
After Jackson struck out Allen Craig with two runners on in the fifth, he walked off the mound and into the dugout trailing 4-0. It may have been Jackson’s final appearance in a Nationals uniform after signing a one-year, $11 million deal at the beginning of the year.
“It happens,” Jackson said. “It could be, could not. It’s definitely not a way you want to end it. Hopefully we come out and are able to get a game tomorrow and get the last game with Gio going. But we have to take it one game at a time. But definitely hope the season doesn’t end like that.”