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"Something I’ll never forget"

Jul 13, 2011, 5:34 AM EST

Associated Press photo
Tyler Clippard threw three pitches and emerged with the win in the All-Star Game.

PHOENIX — Years from now, long after he hangs up his spikes and his goggles, Tyler Clippard will sit his grandchildren down and tell them about the night he won the All-Star Game.

And he won’t fabricate the story to make it sound like some Herculean performance on his part. He’ll tell the truth.

“I’m going to say I grooved an 0-2 heater to Beltre, and Hunter Pence threw him out at the plate and I vultured a win in my first All-Star Game,” Clippard said. “I don’t think that story gets any better.”

Well, perhaps it won’t rank alongside Reggie Jackson homering onto the roof at Tiger Stadium, Carl Hubbell striking out five future Hall of Famers in succession or Dave Parker throwing out two runners from the right-field corner. But Clippard’s name will forever be etched into history as the winning pitcher in the 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star game.

True, the Nationals reliever faced only one batter: Adrian Beltre. And true, he served up a sharp single to left to the Rangers slugger. But thanks to Hunter Pence’s spot-on throw to nail Jose Bautista at the
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  1. Luqman - Jul 13, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    The reason the NL won is they have better pitching, they use them for two innings each. He used all the starters in the game. How about that two Nationals in two straight years win the game Matt Capps in 2010 and Tyler Clippard in 2011. A NL team will win the World Series I guarantee it.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    Yeah, who was coaching the AL at third, and sent Bautista?

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 6:27 AM

    "I'm going to say I grooved an 0-2 heater to Beltre, and Hunter Pence threw him out at the plate and I vultured a win in my first All-Star Game," Clippard said.In his FIRST All-Star game?Here's hoping, Clip. Many more to you.

  4. Depot Master - Jul 13, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    Hopefully he won't get traded away like Capps did (unless we get someone like Mike Trout in return) – I like Clip and hopefully we'll hold on to an Allstar this year!

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Yay, the non-DH league wins (even if they did have to use one yesterday)! See, now, voters and managers, if you want to win, you need Nats All-Stars. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. ;-)How funny that Clippard got the win! Was recording the game and rewound last night to see the highlights before heading to bed with the NL up 4-1. Haven't watched the rest of it but will watch the end to see the Clippard interview (assuming that there was one). Clippard owes Pence a steak, methinks. Did Joe Buck ever say why his voice was sounding that way?

  6. joemktg - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    As a result of the ASG, charities were served very well. So too were sponsors and advertisers: significant broadcast exposure begotten from the experience (both broadcast and in-stadium), and a tremendous client-entertainment venue. Now back to the regular season, thank you…

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Depot Master, I doubt that Clippard is going anywhere soon, but I would make the Capps for Ramos trade again right now. And make it again tomorrow. And the next day.When that trade was made, we had Wil Nieves as our best backup catcher, with Pudge as our top dog, and Flores looking at the time likehe might not ever play again. Meanwhile we had Storen waiting to step into the closer's role, along with Sean Burnett pitching great at the time.The play at the plate, ultimately making Clip the winning pitcherof record, wasn't even close. Who sent that runner? Who, I ask? Ha!

  8. Big Cat - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Ok… its on to Atlanta…..and a sweep of the Braves!! Jason Werth is gonna catch fire and carry us this second half! Lets go Nats!!

  9. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    So Clipp "induced" a sharp single and won the game. Who else but a Nat???

  10. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Oh, and I also think it's funny that Fielder had the go-ahead RBIs and was MVP of the game. All of the boos turned to cheers when he went deep. haha. Felt bad for him and his guy Weeks getting booed left and right. I get that the home fans wanted their guy Upton in the derby but boo Fielder's intro at the derby (if you must) to make your point and then move on. They're on "our" team for the day, right? Fielder had commented earlier as to how it didn't bother him but his kids had been upset about the booing.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    (For those who weren't watching, this year they had an NL team and an AL team for the derby, with the designated captain for each choosing his teammates.)

  12. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    ummm, Dave Anderson?"The play at the plate, ultimately making Clip the winning pitcherof record, wasn't even close. Who sent that runner? Who, I ask? Ha!"

  13. Tim - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    I watched the game until the 7th and went to bed (like thousands of others on the east coast). When I saw the box score this morning, I just laughed out loud. Three pitches, not getting anyone out, and getting the win… hilarious.Then when I read the story above, I laughed even harder… "vultured"… indeed!Way to go Clip!

  14. Gonat - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    From Hunter Pence and how hopefully all ballplayers do it. If he hits it to me, I will then….."I had a weird intuition that he was about to hit a line drive," the Astros outfielder said. "I was like: 'OK, well, if he hits a line drive, I'm going to try to make a good throw.' I was kind of anticipating it a little bit."

  15. A DC Wonk - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Cool factoid that Mark wrote that I had forgotten — not only were the last two winners of the ASG Nats, but each of them only pitched 1/3 of an inning!

  16. Andrew - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Tyler Clippard sat next to me at the Nats Dream Foundation Gala on June 18th. I told him I thought he would be the team's All Star. He was very modest about his chances. I told him he could be the key ROOGY like Capps last year. Clip gave me a smile and must of thought I was nuts. (Righty One Out GuY.) When he got the out last night and then Fielder got the 3 run HR, it was like deja vous all over again!True story that you can ask Clip about!

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Great story, Andrew! Thanks for sharing that.Déjà vu sayin.

  18. sjm308 - Jul 13, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Don't get me wrong, I love Tyler Clippard and the makeup of our bullpen, BUT, if we can get a player the caliber of Ramos in a deal for Clippard I make that deal. One area of strength for this team is bullpen arms and while he might be a huge loss, if we can get an established lead-off man, or a terrific centerfielder (moving Bernadina to LF) I would jump at it. Davey has already started to use HRod and Mattheus a lot more as set up guys and I am pretty sure they can step in. Clippard's value is probably at his highest right now and I was always told to sell high. Again, I like him a great deal but if the deal is right I think Rizzo should do this and I am positive people will be asking.Mets have already started unloading "inventory" with FRod going to the Brewers. It will be interesting to see who is next.Go Nats!

  19. N. Cognito - Jul 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Didn't watch.Was Tim McCarver as horrendous as he always is?

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Interesting news, sjm…2 PTBNLs and a partial salary dump…maybe they'd take a AA arm and Desmond for Reyes. Of course, then they'd have to sign him next year.You don't suppose they'd take Werth and cash for Beltran, do you?

  21. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    He had a classic McCarver moment or two, NCog.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    *then the Nats would have to re-sign Reyes…

  23. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Is the Nats Journal messed up again? Blog roll here isn't updating.

  24. SCNatsFan - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Good luck to Jim. If he gets the SF jersey they will have to go out and order a small uniform for him so he can stay in character.And I agree with above, if you get a long term solution at CF for Clip then you sell while high.

  25. Steve M. - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:52 PM is the type of deal the Nats must get done with Jordan Zimmermann. Tie him up now and buy out his arb years and love the 2 option years. If the Cardinals can get this done. The Nats need to do it…..and while they are at it, a 7 year deal for $18.5 million per season for Ryan Zimmerman should tie him up and make him into a very wealthy young man and give him a Tulowitzki type of payoff and slightly more than what that Werth guy got.

  26. Steve M. - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    sjm308, that Mets deal to the Brewers for KRod was a salary dump. The Mets still had to pay $5 million so essentially got $12.5 million in savings from that vesting option for 2012. In return, the rumor is the Mets PTBNL that are not top tier prospects.Now as far as trading Clippard, sure if the right deal was out there but I think Coffey and Stairs are the 2 guys most likely to be dealt. Coffey to a playoff contender and Stairs to a men's 40 and over softball beer league.The most talked about guy is Michael Morse. I can't see there being enough prospects to make up for a guy still under team control for 2 1/2 more years at a $1 million salary.

  27. PAY TO PLAY - Jul 13, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    N. Cognito said… Didn't watch.Was Tim McCarver as horrendous as he always is? July 13, 2011 10:57 AMMcCarver was his normal bore-fest but this time we got a somber Joe Buck. He must have had a cold as he sounded hoarse and monotone. It was tough to listen to.When they cut away for a pool scene to talk to Justin Timberlake while the game was going on in what you knew was a paid info-mercial on his new movie or show or something, it was painful even watching it. Typical FOX sports where they mix in tons of plugs to go on top of the regular commercials.

  28. HHover - Jul 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Couple of things–Riggs He's interviewing for a scouting job, so no uni necessary.Locking up Z'mann and ZimmZmann doesn't become a FA until 2016, and has been a dominant pitcher for all of 1/2 a season. Garcia's been proving his stuff for a season and a half. I think prudence says wait a little longer.Likewise, with locking up Zimm–I'd love to see him in a Nats uniform for the next decade, but I don't see why either side would see it in their interest to do a deal right now. From his pt of view, probably better to wait til he returns to form and would have a higher value. From the Nats point of view, it might make sense to wait and see what, exactly, they're locking him up to do. I know there's been talk of moving him to 1B, but his offense is great at 3B but would be less remarkable at 1B, and his defensive advantage would be largely lost over there.

  29. HHover - Jul 13, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    P2PReally?! Compared to the drone-fest from the broadcast booth, I thought the Timberlake cut-away livened things up. You're right that it was basically intended as a human product placement, which I'm disposed to dislike on principle. But Timberlake spent less time talking about his movie than about how great beer is (he'd clearly had a few), and making fun of Buck.

  30. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    If you wanted lively, it was in the pregame show on MLB Network. Sean Casey donning a scuba mask and waterwings and recreating a splashdown ball catch, Kevin Millar stalking various players around the field for interviews, Harold Reynolds taking infield practice with All-Stars, and more. They needed (but didn't have) a time delay for Casey at least once. Heh. The funniest part (imo) was when they broke down a postgame celebration where Verlander was the hero and Casey was maneuvering around the dogpile attempting to high-five him. After several attempts (DENIED), he was finally able to do so. :-)Loved the David Price interview where he had his seven-year-old nephew seated on his lap. Evidently he takes him to all such events that he can, as the kid really enjoys it. awww… that's a good uncle.

  31. Scooter - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Well, if Sec3 can be pedantic about French, I can be pedantic about baseball terminology. Clippard didn't give up the lead. The Google tells me that some folks consider any undeserved relief win eligible for the term vulture, but … they're wrong.





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