Detwiler's Debut Is One To Remember

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 8, 2007

ATLANTA, Sept. 7 -- Ross Detwiler came out of the clubhouse and into the visitor's dugout Friday afternoon at Turner Field "because I had to see this place," he said before batting practice. He ended up pitching there.

Detwiler, the Washington Nationals' first-round pick in the June draft, became the first player selected this year to appear in the majors, working the eighth inning of the Nationals' 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He worked around Ryan Zimmerman's third error of the game to pitch a scoreless inning.

"I'm kind of beside myself right now," he said. "Just glad to have the chance. I kind of find it hard to call this a job -- out there playing."

Detwiler's fastball clocked in the range of 92 to 94 mph, but he had trouble getting his breaking ball over. "The adrenaline was flowing a little too much," he said.

Detwiler struck out Willie Harris looking to end the frame. The first batter he faced: center fielder Andruw Jones, he of the 366 career home runs.

"It's kind of unbelievable he was my first hitter," Detwiler said.

Dominican Champs

One of the Nationals' two entries in the Dominican Summer League -- a rookie-level circuit in the Dominican Republic -- won the league championship with a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees' affiliate in the fifth game of the championship series on Friday.

"We made it clear that the ownership was committed to rebuild our farm system, and this is a great step," Manager Manny Acta said. "We beat the mighty Yankees, who have dominated that summer league for many years."

Marcos Frias, 18, got the win in the clincher, allowing two earned runs in five innings. The team went 49-15 in the regular season, the best record in the 34-team league. . . . Though General Manager Jim Bowden said earlier this week that he would like injured shortstop Cristian Guzman to play the last 10 days or two weeks of the season, Acta seemed less enthused about the prospect. "I'd just prefer him to heal completely and have him play winter ball and have him back for next season," Acta said.

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