May 8, 2010, 3:45 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ryan Zimmerman's sixth-inning homer wasn't enough to carry the Nats tonight.
Steve McCatty sighed as he pondered the state of the Nationals bullpen, one that features two dominant (and overworked) right-handers in Matt Capps and Tyler Clippard … and no one else reliable enough to be counted on in the late innings.
"You can't have Clip every day," the Nats pitching coach said. "You want somebody to go out there and just to grab it and say: 'I'm going to pitch that inning. Seventh-eighth inning, you can rely on me.'"
Alas, that guy has yet to identify himself, and it's becoming a bigger and bigger problem for a Nationals club that sorely needed someone like that tonight in a 4-2 loss to the Marlins.
What had been a tight pitchers' duel between Craig Stammen and Chris Volstad turned in the eighth inning, when Brian Bruney allowed two runs to score on two singles, two walks and his own error trying to field a sacrifice bunt.
Thus ended the latest unsightly outing for Bruney, who entered the season as the Nationals' top setup man but at this point might not be trusted for anything other than mop-up duty.
Bruney's updated season numbers: 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA, 17 hits and 18 walks in 15 innings. Yes, that's 1.2 walks per inning, 2.33 baserunners per inning.
"I'm busting my ass out there," the right-hander said. "I'm trying as hard as I can. I feel like these guys in there know how hard I work. They know how hard I'm trying. I think that's all you can ask for. The results, it's kind of out of my control. Obviously I have some work IRead more »
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