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Capps: From dominant to disastrous

Jun 6, 2010, 10:53 PM EDT

There was no closer in baseball more reliable through the season’s first two months than Matt Capps. And there has been no closer in baseball less reliable over the last week than Capps, who this afternoon blew his third save opportunity in six days and directly contributed to the Nationals’ 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Reds.

Capps has been the victim of some bad defense and bad umpiring, but he hasn’t helped himself by hanging several sliders, including the one to Scott Rolen today that wound up over the left-field fence.

Read what Capps and Jim Riggleman had to say about this surprising decline in performance on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    The loss today – or at least the blown save – is 100% on Capps. The one the other night where Guzman couldn't catch the ball? Not really Capps fault. The umpire screwed him in Houston, that's anther blown save.You can argue that those two are still on him since he was the pitcher, but when your defense is booting balls around behind you or the umpire makes a clear bad call that otherwise would have ended the game, I have a hard time blaming the pitcher.

  2. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Obviously the most important thing in the article is that Riggs did not commit to Capps as his closer..doesn't mean he will make a change, but that option is being considered. I think a change is happening.

  3. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Mark, your link doesn't work.

  4. Big Cat - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    They should sit Capps down for a little bit. Let him clear his head for a couple days. Maybe try Storen in the role. I think teams are watching film on him and have started going after that first fastball of his. Give him a little break is all…..he'll be fine. When he comes back, go straight 2 seamer. That pitch moves like a mutha

  5. rmoore446 - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    The link worked for me. In some of these games it appears that Capps has gone slider-happy. One game (forget which one right now)it was his major pitch. I was driving through Ohio during this latest fiasco and could only listen to the Reds radio broadcast. Although some of the hits may have been on heaters (according to the Reds broadcasters), at least one of the key hits came on an off-speed pitch after getting two strikes on fast balls. Again I was only listening to the Reds team but I know Dibs is always complaining about Nats pitchers "speeding up the opponents bats" when they are clearly overmatched on the heat.Of course, in the next breath Dibs sometimes suggests an offspeed pitch.I don't know…this team is in a real heartbreak stage right now.

  6. rmoore446 - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    One additional comment from my first post regarding listening to the last two innings via the Reds radio broadcast. They were brutal on their bullpen in general and especially on their closer. Just demonstrates again that there is no failure in baseball like a blown save.

  7. MikeHarris - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:36 AM

    Mark – that hanging slider not only went over the left-field fence, it ended up in my back yard. I'll bring it up Tuesday if anyone wants it.Why not leave Clippard in? That's not a not-Capps thought, it's a Clippard is on fire again thought.

  8. Cwj - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Great article Mark!I tend to agree with Big Cat that they should rest Capps a bit. Though I believe Clippard, and not Storen, should get the nod if they choose not to use Capps.On an interesting note: we actually have the makings of a "nasty boys" situation as well. Clippard, Storen and Capps (when he's on) could all be interchangeable in their roles.

  9. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    http://www.nationalsdailynews.com/columnists/post.cfm?blog=hendo&id=622&story=whatever-happened-to-aaron-crow&s=rssNice article on what happened to the Crow of 1st round fame 2008.Amazing how things work out some time. Hello Drew Storen!

  10. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    No mental toughness after those two botched check-swing calls.Next pitch, both times, is a hanging slider that gets hit out.

  11. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    To paraphrase from Denny Green…Capps is who we thought he was…a guy who can be brilliant or horrid, looks like the horrid Capps is here for the beginning of summer…let's hope Riggleman stays with him and he gets a couple of saves in a row and then Rizzo can sell high and trade him for a legit RF bat!

  12. hondo69 - Jun 7, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    N. Cognito — Harper won't be ML ready until at least the 2012 season. Rizzo needs to acquire a 25hr-80rbi RF for the rest of this year and next year. That's not going to be easy, but I have faith in Rizzo and our improved FO to get the job done.

  13. Sec3... - Jun 7, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Who won't be in the bigs, if he makes it at all, for a few years. Of course, the usual "Why don't they trade our castoffs for somebody else's best player???" stuff never gets old.************They're not going to go after a RF bat. They're drafting a rightfielder today with the first pick. June 7, 2010 9:34 AM

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