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Clippard’s rare 10/100 feat

Sep 22, 2010, 4:37 PM EST

Tyler Clippard never set out to win 10 games or strike out 100 batters. Few relievers would even set such lofty goals for themselves at the start of a season.

The workhorse of the Nationals bullpen, though, achieved each milestone last night against the Astros and in the process etched his place in baseball history.

Clippard is the first Washington-based reliever to win 10 games since Dennis Higgins of the 1969 Senators and the first to record 100 strikeouts since Bump Hadley of the 1931 Senators, according to He’s also only the second major-league reliever to pull off the 10-win, 100-strikeout combo this century, joined by Juan Rincon of the 2004 Twins.

“It’s humbling,” Clippard said. “I don’t really know what to say. It’s just one of those things that’s taken place. I’ve gotten used a lot this year, and I’ve been loving to get in there as much as I can and help contribute as much as I can. And here we are.”

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  1. Sam - Sep 22, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Is winning 10 games really an accomplishment? Wins and losses are silly to begin with, but for relievers, it's almost absurd. Getting a win either requires entering the game with your team tied or behind or giving up the lead. Four of those 10 wins came after blowing a save in the same game. I wouldn't be too happy about that. In fact, I'd be pretty upset about my poor performance.On the other hand, 100 strikeouts is a great accomplishment, and Clipp is definitely worthy of congratulations for that. Well done, Clipp! Keep pitching the way you do and have an even better year next year!

  2. TimDz - Sep 22, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    @ Sam: I agree with you totally. In fact, I believe that Clippard is 1/10 in save attempts this year and that several of his wins came in just such a fachion (where he blew the save, but was the beneficiary of his team picking him up).

  3. Anonymous - Sep 22, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    You guys are right! Winning 10 games for the Nats is really something to hang your head over!

  4. Bzl. - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    That blown save stat is way overblown for a guy who typically pitches in the 7th inning. There were a couple of tie-game, runner on 3rd, less than 1 out situations in there, too. Clip's had a good year.Any sort of stats on previous 10 win/100K relief pitchers? How rare is this?

  5. Tony K. - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    What's so rare about Tyler's feet. Does he have 6 toes like Linda Cohn does?

  6. Harper_ROY_2012 - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    How about all the inherited runners that have scored on Clippard that must be a record too, right!?

  7. Theo S. - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    In defense of Clippard, most of his wins, and most of his blown saves, are the consequence of entering the game in the 7th inning or earlier because the starting pitcher got the team in an early hole and/or wore out before he got 18 outs.I would like him to aspire to John Hiller's 1973 stat line: 10 wins, 5 losses, 1.44 ERA, 125 innings, 124Ks.

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Bzl. said…Any sort of stats on previous 10 win/100K relief pitchers? How rare is this?According to, 35 pitchers have done it since 1900, most of them doing it in the '60s, '70s and '80s. Only Clippard and Juan Rincon have done it in this decade. Only three guys did it in the '90s (Scott Williamson, Arthur Rhodes and … Pedro Martinez!).Oh, and for these purposes, relievers are classified as guys who made at least 80 percent of their appearances out of the bullpen.

  9. Theo S. - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Just saw Bzl's comment. Hiller did it three times; won 17 in 1974, 12 in '76 — but in '76 did have one start in 56 appearances.

  10. Theo S. - Sep 22, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Don't know who invented the "blown save" but Rhodes w/ the Orioles perfected it.

  11. LoveDaNats - Sep 22, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Congrats to Clipp! He is one of my favorite pitchers. I love the way he looks like he's flying apart when he throws a pitch.

  12. N. Cognito - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:05 AM

    Elroy Face of the Pirates went 18-1 as a relief pitcher in 1959. His first 17 decisions were wins. His loss came on Sep 11 against the Dodgers when he gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th and lost 5-4.





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