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Clippard is All-Star, Morse still up for vote

Jul 3, 2011, 4:51 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Tyler Clippard earned his first career All-Star selection.

Tyler Clippard was selected for the National League All-Star team this afternoon, a rare honor for a setup man who has dominated opposing hitters for two seasons but doesn’t often get recognition for it.

“Pretty shocking,” the Nationals reliever said moments after learning the news. “Pretty awesome.”

Clippard has been among the best relievers in the majors this year, entering today’s game with a 1.96 ERA in 37 appearances, striking out 57 batters in 46 innings.

The right-hander’s selection comes after a long and winding path that saw him transform from a highly touted starting prospect for the Yankees into a trusted reliever who’s often called upon to face the opponents’ toughest hitters with the game on the line. Evidence of Clippard’s success in high-leverage situations: He has allowed only six of 31 inherited runners to score this season.

“It’s tough to put into words, because of the process that it’s taken to get to this point in my career,” said Clippard, who was converted to a
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  1. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. UNTERP.NAT - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    The U.S.S. Clippard!

  3. FS - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Yay for Tyler Clippard!! Glad to know he got in. He deserved it along with Venters. I can't wait for these two to go back to back and whiff six AL guys. Now unto voting Morse into ASG.

  4. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    The All-Star Game disgusts me at times, Michael Morse has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball, but he's only a vote-in? Such a popularity contest. Congrads to Clippard though, he totally deserves it.

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Congrats to Clip. Was hoping Espinosa might get a nod as well, but he may have to settle for Rookie of the Year. ;-) As for Morse, like the dude said, vote early and often.In the noteworthy selections category: a former Nat in Joel Hanrahan and a didn't-wanna-be Nat in Aaron F. Crowe.

  6. VOTE FOR MICHAEL MORSE - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    I love that Michael Morse wasn't being all fake-modest and cliche. That he actually said, "Vote often. Vote a lot. I'm excited. I want to get there. I want to play in the All-Star Game" is so endearing, it makes me want to vote for him more.Vote here: http://tinyurl.com/5v2j7hw

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Gee….Clippard AND Hannrahan…. Who called that one.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Is riggleman still an assistant coach? haha If so what team would he represent?

  9. Sam - Jul 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Talk about a pitcher benefiting from luck. .196 BABIP, 99.3 LOB%, and only 20.6 GB%. The thing is, what happened happened. So, while the process wasn't great, the results were, and he was rewarded for it. Eventually, that might even out, which should scare everyone…unless he fixes the process. That is, fewer home runs, more ground balls.On a positive note, his 3.14 WPA is second in the league (behind Hanrahan) among relief pitchers. And he's 5th in the league in shutdowns (which is like the better version of saves but actually makes sense).Congratulations, Tyler Clippard!

  10. carolync - Jul 3, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Cubs Manager Mike Quade replaced Riggleman on the ASG staff.Congratulations to Clippard!Everybody send in lots of votes for Morse. He deserves our best effort!

  11. JaneB - Jul 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I'm glad for Clip, and gkad for the NL because Clip is gonna help them win.Voting as much as possible for Michael Morse will be my daily priority.

  12. natsfan1a - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Oh, yeah, forgot about my Morse AS campaign idea. First, put together a video of highlight footage, including postgame interviews in Beast Mode t-shirt. Second, post and publicize said video, aiming to attract voters whose teams are not represented in the final vote. End goal, generate enough buzz around the league to get him voted in. Maybe there should be a t-shirt, too? You're welcome, Nats marketing people. (Yeah, I'm a big idea person rather than an implementation type person, so you're on your own there.) ;-)

  13. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Clippard's SIERA (it's another stat like FIP and xFIP, but better for extremely good and bad pitchers–and that does include Clipard, who it has predicted much better than either) is just 2.38. While he's had his share of luck, his batted ball profile means he won't regress a whole lot; he gives up a ton of flyballs, and generates a TON of popups. So many that he suppresses line drives. And he strikes out so many of the other batters that there's rarely anyone on base during the inevitable homers. That means he gets to enjoy the advantages of pitching high in the zone (low BABIP, lots of popups, lots of swings and misses, not many line drives) without most of the downsides (the inevitable home runs). Now, if he starts walking people, I'll take it all back, but I think Clippard's numbers this year are legit, far moreso than his very low ERAs in '09 and '10. He is right there with Jonny Venters in SIERA and IMO was a very deserving choice. That said, where art thou, Espinosa?

  14. Anonymous - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Oh, and to the person who wants more ground balls out of Clippard, not very likely. In fact, I think if Clippard starts going for ground balls, he'll probably become a worse pitcher; his home run rates will go down, but he gets a lot of his strikeouts on fastballs high in the zone, and he'd also get fewer popups, more line drives, and therefore more hits. Clippard is one of the very few pitchers in the game who totally ignores the traditional advice of throwing his fastball low in the zone, and as long as Nats park doesn't get homerun happy it's what's allowed him to be so effective. Let's not ask him to mess with that.

  15. MicheleS - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Blech.. that was a stinker,But the we have another game tomorrow and we are still at 2-2 for the homestand. The cubs coming to town with and we have a chance to take that series (this coming from a life long cubs fan – it's genetic and I can't get rid of it)

  16. Sec3MySofa - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Vote early! Vote often! Vote Morse!http://atmlb.com/iWL0zB

  17. MicheleS - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Sec3Doing it right now as I watch the sunday night game. I think i have voted about 500 times!

  18. FS - Jul 4, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I must have voted a lot. Not sure how many times, but past 15 minutes that is all I have been doing. Also did this yesterday about 50-75 times. I wish Danny was also part of the final vote.

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I've voted a bunch and also sent the link to family and friends (for the White Sox fan among 'em, I said I'll vote for yours if you vote for mine :-)).

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