Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Mlb-brewers-nationals-july
The Washington Nationals had a rough series opener against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night losing 15-0, which was the worst loss in team history since 2005. The Nats looked to come in to recover from that beating on Saturday afternoon behind Ross Detwiler, and they did just that, even if it did come off the rails a bit in the late innings. Speaking of Detwiler, he had quite the first start of the season as he validated his "best fifth starter in baseball" moniker. He threw six innings of one run, six hit effective baseball. He threw just 82 pitches, most of which were fastballs, and he found ways to get out of a few minor jams throughout the game. Detwiler's performance seemed like a totally different game from what happened from the eighth inning on, though. The Nats bullpen had a 5-1 lead when Detwiler left the game, and Tyler Clippard threw a dominant seventh inning to keep that going. The eighth and ninth inning with Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano, respectively, were less great. Storen was throwing pretty well, actually, but he couldn't have possibly had worse luck. Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper each had an error on the same play that allowed a run to score, which put the Reds within two runs of the Nats who, at one point, had a commanding four run lead. As unlucky as Storen was, Soriano was just as bad. He missed spots, threw wild pitches, and allowed a home run. It was his first blown save of the season. Soriano looked incredible in his appearance on Opening Day, but none of that pinpoint precision showed up in today's game. It's certainly not a long term concern on April 6th, but he was incredibly ineffective against a very good Reds lineup. Craig Stammen's performance was a different story. He came in in the 10th and 11th innings and totally dominated, mostly as a result of his slider. He did allow two hits and an earned run, but his performance was exactly what kept the Nats in the game. His slider has always been his best pitch, and he controlled it extremely well and confused batters all the way until the end of the game. Stammen has the unique ability to have dynamic secondary pitches and also throw well for several innings, if necessary. His value can sometimes be understated. Outside of the pitching stories that evolved in today's game, the offense also made its appearance after a rough start to the series. They hit five home runs: Harper, Ramos, Werth, Desmond, and Ramos again. Desmond was able to recover from his two errors with his 11th inning blast, but it was Ramos' second home run of the game that gave the Nats the runs to put them over the top. According to FP Santangelo on the broadcast, the Nats hit 2,044 feet of home runs at a hitter friendly ballpark. Just about all of the Nats home runs would have left almost every ballpark in the country. As an aside, I don't like to criticize umpires any more than necessary, but it appeared there were some very questionable calls by the men in blue today. Detwiler has two hit-by-pitches from today's game, and it didn't look like either of them actually hit the batter. The one on Joey Votto really wasn't close, and the one with Shin-Soo Choo seemed to barely (maybe?) graze his jersey. The third base ump blew a check swing on Votto in the 11th inning that almost came back to haunt the Nats, but it didn't end up mattering in the final result.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.