Sep 22, 2012, 4:29 AM EST
US Presswire photo
Tyler Clippard gave up three runs in the top of the ninth and took the loss.
Ignore, for a moment, the question of whether Tyler Clippard will get another chance to pitch in a save situation this season. It’s a valid question, and one Davey Johnson will have to answer not with his words but with his actions over the final 12 days of the regular season and into the postseason.
The greater issue, from the Nationals’ perspective, isn’t so much whether Clippard will pitch the ninth inning anymore but whether he can get himself back on track, regardless of what role he holds out of the bullpen.
Any deep run through October by the Nationals is going to require clutch performances by Clippard, whether they come in the seventh inning, the eighth inning, the ninth inning or beyond. That’s a fact well-known throughout the clubhouse, and it’s why several teammates immediately offered words of encouragement to the right-hander Friday night after he blew a ninth-inning lead and handed the Brewers a 4-2 victory.
“I just told him to keep his head up,” said Edwin Jackson, whose eight dominant innings became moot after Clippard’s implosion. “He’s going to be important for us just to stay strong. It’s going to be vital for him to stay strong. I told him he’s going to be a big part of our success.”
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nats trade Souza in 3-team deal, get Turner from Padres
- Report: Mets may not pitch Harvey vs. Nats on Opening Day
- Souza's name crops up in complex trade talks
- Clippard: 'I hope we all stay together for at least one more shot'
- Nats GM Mike Rizzo explains trading Detwiler; talks prospects
- Nats announce date pitchers and catchers will report to Viera
- Nationals react to Detwiler and LaRoche leaving this offseason
- Ian Desmond goes 1-on-1 with Mark Zuckerman at Nats Fest
- Zuckerman on the Nats and Bryce Harper's contract settlement
- Storen appreciates Nats' vote of confidence