Apr 27, 2011, 4:15 AM EDT
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Doug Slaten allowed the tie-breaking double in tonight’s 6-4 loss to the Mets.
Relief pitchers already have precious little margin for error when they enter a game. That margin shrinks to microscopic levels for left-handed specialists, who get to face only one batter on any given night, typically with the entire game on the line.
Doug Slaten has always taken pride in his ability to come into a game in a jam, face a tough left-handed hitter and get out of the jam without sustaining any damage.
“That’s the No. 1 key to my job, probably,” he said. “Coming in and getting guys out with guys on base.”
If that’s the best measure of a lefty reliever’s success, Slaten isn’t performing up to standards so far this season. And on Tuesday night, his inability to get a big out with the game on the line helped send the Nationals to a 6-4 loss to the Mets.
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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.
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