Jun 22, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park, shortly after a monster storm rolled through tonight.
It's mostly gone unnoticed because the Nationals have lost far more games than they've won over the last month, but this club's bullpen continues to be among the best in baseball.
Check out these ERAs for Washington's relievers in June…
Tyler Clippard: 0.90
Sean Burnett: 1.35
Tyler Walker: 2.08
Drew Storen: 2.53
Matt Capps: 3.38
Miguel Batista: 3.86
Doug Slaten: 5.79
Pretty impressive. For the season, the Nationals' bullpen owns a 3.45 ERA. That's fourth-best in the NL, seventh-best in the majors. Again, pretty impressive.
Tonight, the club will pay homage to the two guys who have been pitching the eighth and ninth innings all season: Clippard and Capps. Tonight's giveaway T-shirts have a picture of a giant coupon, emblazoned with the words "Clipp and Save." (Yes, that slogan was first coined by former Washington Times copy editor Steve Repsher.)
"It's kind of neat," said Capps, who got a glimpse of the shirts the other day. "It's a cool feeling, and something neat for your friends and family to see and to have. For the team to think that much of you, it's a good feeling."
So, how might the Nationals best commemorate the occasion tonight? How about taking a one- or two-run lead into the eighth inning against the Royals, then handing this game over to their most-trusted relievers? We'll see if they can pull that off.
Check back for updates throughout…
ROYALS at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 90 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to CF
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- NL Playoff Outlook: What stars will give the Nationals trouble?
- LaRoche gets extra day off to rest ailing back
- Michael Jenkins takes walkoff pie to the face (VIDEO)
- Nats move on to Miami with Gio starting in hometown
- PHOTO: Kevin Durant rocks a Nats jersey
- UPDATE: Nats DFA Perez, claim Twins shortstop
- If healthy, Zimmerman should be in Nats lineup
- Post-clinch, Nationals rookies get chance to shine
- Nationals' backups fall to Braves in series finale in Atlanta
- Nats will keep playing, try to secure No. 1 seed