Aug 20, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tyler Clippard has helped pick up the slack since Matt Capps' trade.
When you really boil it down, Mike Rizzo was willing to trade away Matt Capps back on July 30 for two reasons: 1) Wilson Ramos was too good to pass up in exchange for a closer, and 2) the Nationals had a deep bullpen that could probably compensate for the loss of Capps.
Yesterday, we got a glimpse of why Ramos was so highly coveted by GMs talking trades with the Twins. He went 0-for-4 against the Braves, but he had a couple of nice at-bats in which he showed good plate discipline. More importantly, he called a solid game and made a really nice play on a sacrifice bunt attempt. If Ramos does develop into this organization's long-term answer at catcher, the trade will have well been worth it.
Let's not forget the second point, though. The Nats' bullpen, while certainly weaker without Capps, has done a pretty good job holding its own without its closer of four months. During yesterday's 6-2 win at Turner Field, that unit tossed 3 2/3 hitless innings to preserve John Lannan's win. Joel Peralta got two outs on one pitch in the sixth. Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the seventh. Sean Burnett got out of a jam in the eighth (albeit on a smoked line drive right at Michael Morse). And Drew Storen finished things off with a 1-2-3 ninth.
This is pretty much what the Nationals' relief corps has been doing for three weeks now. Check out these pitchers' numbers since July 31 (the day after the Capps trade)…Read more »
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