Cristian Guzman walks! Oh and the Nats lose

(He wasn’t happy about it)

Well the good news is, after 122 at bats, Cristian Guzman finally drew a walk. That’s about where the good news ends.

Four errors, a lousy bullpen performance, and a really bad sixth inning led to the Nationals 26th loss of the season. Once again for the club it didn’t matter that they had 11 hits or raked in seven runs…or even that they were playing the Pirates, none of it mattered as the Nats once again beat themselves Monday night.

Nationals batters reached base 17 times, while striking out only four times. They had eight extra base hits, out of eleven total. Even Josh Bard had a multi-hit game. The offense cant get much better, however, the bullpen can’t get much worse. Last night they gave up nine earned runs in four innings pitched. In the Phillies series they gave up 14 earned. If the Mets from 2008 could not make up for such a gap in their bullpen, certainly the Nationals of 2009 cannot either.

The Nats have lost five in a row.

Ross Detwiler

capt.8ce57365ea9349ada18f759bcc010459.pirates_nationals_baseball_nat101The young lefty finally made his big league debut. Long touted as the most talented pitcher in the clubs system, Detwiler had struggled finding his accuracy and then his confidence. He stunk it up in spring training and his first several starts in Harrisburg were just as bad.

Then something clicked. It’s not clear what. Detwiler started throwing pitches and batters started missing again. He combines a great running fastball with a power curve and a growing change. Scouts have long said the key to him being a great pitcher at the next level is his ability to throw the change as a strike. For the most part, it seemed to be dead on last night.

In five innings pitched Detwiler allowed four hits, two earned runs, struck out six, and walked none. How long he will stay in the rotation isn’t clear, its probably directly related to Olsen’s tendentious and Detwiler’s own success. However if he continues to progress in the bigs, keeping him and Zimmermann on the club could prove valuable come next year; a rotation that could boast Lannan, Zimmermann, Detwiler, and Strasburg.

Young but potent.