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Storen, Clippard will share closer’s job

Sep 21, 2012, 9:42 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen has been scored upon in only one of his last 17 appearances.

Tyler Clippard has been the Nationals’ closer since May 22, and during that time he’s been one of the most effective closers in baseball, converting 32 of 35 save opportunities and holding opponents to a .179 batting average.

Drew Storen, however, was supposed to be the Nationals’ closer this season until an elbow injury required surgery and landed him on the disabled list for 3 1/2 months. Even upon Storen’s return to the active roster in July, manager Davey Johnson decided to stick with Clippard as his ninth-inning reliever based both on his performance and the fact Storen still needed to work himself back into peak form.

Well, Storen has finally gotten himself back into peak form — witness last night’s dominating, three-strikeout save against the Dodgers — and so Johnson is ready to make a change to the back end of his bullpen two weeks before the Nationals make their postseason debut.

The change: Clippard and Storen will share closing duties, effective
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  1. Section 222 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    I love this. Exactly how it should be, and he has the two perfect guys to do it with. More teams should look to match ups and who needs rest in the late innings. And with Garcia, Mattheus, and Burnett, he has some real horses for the 7th, or the 8th if somoeone is getting the night off. Davey is a master of setting up the bullpen and I'm excited to watch what he does over the next two weeks.

  2. peric - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Davey really needs to ease off of Clippard and Burnett … but this announcement pretty much tells me (doing it in a positive blameless and team oriented way) that is exactly what he plans on doing.They'll need their entire bullpen in the playoffs in any case but there are some guys who are going to be more worn down than others and in Storen, Garcia and Mattheus's case its much less so.

  3. DWS - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    What a surprise!

  4. mick - Sep 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Clip should set up , Storen close

  5. phil dunton - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Translation–break it to Clip gently–he lost his closer role last night when Storen was lights out. Clip has struggled since the All Star break.

  6. Section 222 - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Sorry phil, but I think Davey means what he says. We'll see, but I expect the next save situation will be Clip.

  7. waddu eye no - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    good for both of them and for us.gyfng

  8. Theophilus T. S. - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    If Clippard hasn't been overused this season, he's at least been over-exposed. As of the other night he had appeared in 61 games, which probably means every team in the NL East has seen him at least five times. Eventually they're all gonna get "dialed in" on that change up and quirky behind-the-ear release.

  9. Feel Wood - Sep 22, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Now we see how Clippard and Storen will split the closer role. Storen will take the saves, Clippard will take the blown saves.

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