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Has Clippard turned a corner?

Sep 28, 2012, 11:32 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Tyler Clippard retired the side in the eighth inning of last night's win.

ST. LOUIS — It was only one outing, lasting all of three batters. But it was the first time he'd retired the side in 2 1/2 weeks, so Tyler Clippard had plenty of reason to feel good about his performance after it was over Thursday night in Philadelphia.

"I was itching to get back out there," the Nationals reliever said. "The last few days, I've been working on some things, and I knew I was close. I wanted to get back out there, and I'm glad I got in there tonight."

Clippard hadn't pitched a clean inning since Sept. 10, following up that appearance in New York with six consecutive shaky outings, including four straight in which the right-hander surrendered a run.

During that stretch, Clippard lost his closer's job to Drew Storen, though Davey Johnson remained confident enough in him to use him in a setup role. And that's where he'll stay through the rest of the regular seasonRead more ยป

  1. blovy8 - Sep 28, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    He used to have success with high fastballs.

  2. JaneB - Sep 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    But now hitters know to expect them. I'm glad the baseball gods are smiling on him again. I hope they are grinning ear to ear for him and all our guys for, oh, about 35 days more.

  3. peric - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    A lot of it is the wind mill throwing motion that doesn't show the hitter the ball until the very last second. That is what he uses as an effective replacement for a high velocity fast ball. That's what makes his change ups so beguiling and effective. But for the change to work the sleight of hand fast ball must.

  4. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    No.

  5. JaneB - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    I say yes. And I wish EJax would turn one now, too.

  6. Brandon Beylo - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Hey Nats fans, I recently started a sports writing website with some of my friends. Check out my piece on Bryce Harper's numbers compared to those of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Trout in each of their first year seasons: http://koppettstown.com/2012/09/28/is-bryce-harper-the-kid-2-0-2/

  7. SCNatsFan - Sep 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Just like one bad outing isn't a problem, one good outing isn't a solution. One thing is for sure; with starters who only go 6 or 7 this team will go nowhere in the playoffs if the bullpen, and Clip, struggle. Lets hope he can put together a solid post season pitching the 8th or the 9th.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 29, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    SCNatsFan is correct. The problem for Clippard is that there aren't enough innings left before the play-offs for him to prove anything. I predict that he will be better than he has been the second half but not as good as he was in the first half, but that is simply the mathematical concept known as regression to the mean.

  9. NatsFanJim - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:26 AM

    No he hasnt turned a corner. His fastball is down to 92-93; his command is way off — no one is swinging at his 4-seamer high in the zone anymore. What's more, he's been fortunate (lucky?) for two years with so many swings at high fastballs that werent strikes/Plus: one decent outing does not a comeback make. Personally, I would bet he will not be in the league this time next time. And I'm being generous.

  10. NatsFanJim - Sep 29, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. natsfan1a - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    I hope so. I guess we'll see.

  12. Section 3, My Sun Monster Sofa - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Ohhh, I will SO take that bet.

  13. Langston Hughes - Sep 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Final CurveWhen you turn the cornerAnd you run into yourselfThen you know that you have turnedAll the corners that are left

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