Jul 11, 2010, 4:15 AM EST
Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tyler Clippard's ERA has more than doubled in less than three weeks.
There is perhaps nothing more aggravating in baseball than a relief pitcher who can't get batters out, especially when said reliever is entrusted to protect a late lead and then implodes.
By all accounts, Tyler Clippard is just as upset with himself as all of you are with him. Since he departed the Nationals' clubhouse before reporters entered following tonight's 10-5 loss to the Giants, we can't say that with 100 percent certainty. But those who know Clippard best know how much this recent rough stretch is weighing on him.
"It's killing him," teammate Matt Capps said. "It's killing all of us to see what he's going through. It's just one of those things everybody goes through during the course of the year. Billy Wagner's been through it. Mariano Rivera's been through it. It's where you find out what you're made of."
"It" is a stretch of seven games over the last 16 days that has turned Clippard's once-dominant season into cause for real concern.
The numbers aren't pretty: 13 runs (11 earned) and 15 hits allowed in six innings. Opponents are hitting .500 against him. Of the 39 batters he's faced, 22 have reached base. And the worst stat of all: an 0-3Read more »
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