Tagged: Tyler Clippard

Clipped in the bud

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Hey, it must be a
Friday night special around here: One post for the price of 3 games. Erm…how
about those Nationals? Two wins in a row. Break them up.

Poor humor masking
for laziness aside, you have to hand it to the Nats today. Day game in New York
after a late night extra innings win down in Miami and the Nationals come
through with a nice 6-2 win. Aside from Chad Gaudin, the bullpen was strong,
sustaining a slender 3-2 lead long enough for the Nationals to tack on three
insurance runs in the top of the eight to put the game out of reach.

Sure, there were
warts like Ian Desmond failing to get on base in five attempts from the
lead-off spot. But given it’s already Friday night laundry night, I’ll settle
for the satisfaction of the Nats putting us all out of our misery and pulling
the plug on the Chad Gaudin walk this way era. Viva Henry Rodriguez!

Game 7 Natties

Game Ball(s): Tyler Clippard. Bottom of the seventh.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead, runners on second and third with just one out. And nary
a Met cross the plate after Clippard toes the rubber. Never said bailing out
Chad Gaudin was easy.

Goat(s): Bernie Madoff. It’s a shame the Mets
have so much less money to waste on stars like a 40 year old Moises Alou. I
heard things are so bad for Fred Wilpon that the Mets tried to convert Luis
Castillo into the team’s official panhandler during Spring Training. He
couldn’t hack that either.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Wilson Ramos. Today comes word that
Ramos will get the lion’s share of playing time beyond home plate going
forward. The right move for a franchise building towards the future. Pudge
might want to think about how much he likes Boston.

Current Record: 3-4

Hail, Hail Victory

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It may have taken
over five hours. And yeah, they had to endure two rain delays, including one
that dropped hail (yes, hail) on the field at Nationals Park. But it was all
worth it, as the Washington Nationals found their way into the victory column
for the first time this season, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-3 this afternoon.

Watching the
Nationals today, it is refreshing to see a team that is much sounder on defense
(and capable of making more plays), and able to gut out tough innings with the
bullpen. After tying the Pirates (argh, we’re terrible) with the most errors in
baseball last season (an absurd 127), two consecutive error-free games to start
the season is a relative treat to watch.

One thing I’m
interested in going forward is how the Nationals will handle the ninth inning.
Today, manager Jim Riggleman went with the left-hander, Sean Burnett, to get
the last out in the bottom of the 8th (lefty Freddie Freeman was up) and to
close out the ninth. Drew Storen, the once, and still presumed future closer,
was used to get two outs in the eight, and in the process, managed to cough up
a home run to Alex Gonzalez. As I said in my season preview, it is critical for
the franchise’s future that the Nationals get Storen right and back to nailing
down games at the end. For now, it remains a work in progress.

So, first things
first: The Nationals go for the series win tomorrow!

Game 2 Natties

Game Ball: Rick Ankiel. We got the better of the 2
true outcomes today. And a tip of the cap to Jim Riggleman for calling a
suicide squeeze with Ankiel the at-bat after he hits a home run. Crafty call
leading to a nice insurance run.

Goat: Tommy Hanson, Braves. The young ace
didn’t locate his pitches well and the results showed. And yes, Chad Gaudin, I
took note that you somehow continue to be employed based on illusory stuff that
never translates to quality results (career ERA of 4.61/career xFIP of 4.64).
Nice first pitch home run surrendered to Dan Uggla.

Bryce Harper is a ways off: Tyler Clippard, throwing gas, getting 5
big outs in the middle innings. 

Current Record: 1-1