Apr 27, 2011, 4:15 AM EST
US Presswire photo
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.
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