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Clippard stays as closer, Lidge setting up

Jun 8, 2012, 10:38 PM EDT

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Tyler Clippard is 5-for-5 in save opportunities over the last 2 1/2 weeks.

BOSTON — Brad Lidge made seven relief appearances for the Nationals in April, before he required surgery to repair a sports hernia, and all seven came in the ninth inning or later.

After about six weeks on the shelf, Lidge is back in the Nationals bullpen. But you probably won't be seeing him pitch the ninth inning unless something out of the ordinary happens.

Manager Davey Johnson said today he plans to keep Tyler Clippard in the closer's role for the foreseeable future, likely until Drew Storen comes back from elbow surgery in mid-July. That leaves Lidge in the setup role he was originally signed to hold.

"I know Bradley can close ballgames," Johnson said prior to the Nationals' series opener against the Red Sox. "And I'll probably keep him in that group with [Sean] Burnett and my closer, Clippard. KeepRead more »

  1. Grandstander - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    How many holds is Lidge going to blow before Davey realizes he's crap?

  2. Joe Seamhead - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Gee, guys and gals, it just won't be as tittalating without the two Henry's (Good H enry & Bad Henry) pitching the 9th!

  3. Jimmy - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Good for Clip. The man's certainly earned it. I had no idea he was yearning for the closer's role for so long. He's been nothing but class as he was passed over time and time again this season. When he finally spoke up, he managed to be assertive yet appropriately deferential to management in an interview that should be required viewing for any young player. It's a tough call, because you have an all-star set-up man, a guy that can go two innings often, but he has that hunger to close, and he has the ability to do it well. Giving him the honor of being closer also means losing your all-star two-inning setup man. I'm glad he's living up to the responsibility. But in moving up he's leaving some big shoes to fill.

  4. rogieshan - Jun 9, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Johnson: "I know Bradley can close ballgames…I feel comfortable, no matter how I use him." You may want to reconsider that, Davey. At least give it a few days.

  5. SonnyG10 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    rogieshan said… Johnson: "I know Bradley can close ballgames…I feel comfortable, no matter how I use him." You may want to reconsider that, Davey. At least give it a few days. June 08, 2012 10:30 PM I bet Davey was just saying that for the media.

  6. Grandstander - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    I guess that answered my question. 0.1 innings.



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