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Instant analysis: Angels 4, Nats 2

Apr 21, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT

AP AP

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: It was billed as a star-studded showdown between Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, but the two phenom outfielders played little role in the outcome of this game. Instead, unheralded starting pitchers Tanner Roark and Garrett Richards kept pitching themselves out of jams, with a lone fourth-inning run manufactured by the Nationals holding up for seven innings.

But then came the top of the eighth, and with it came disaster for Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond and Matt Williams. Desmond was charged with two more errors in the inning, helping put Clippard in a jam. Clippard then blew another late-inning lead, allowing an RBI single to Erick Aybar and then walking Chris Iannetta to load the bases in what was now a tie game. With left-handed pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez stepping to the plate, Williams couldn’t summon one of his three lefties from the bullpen, because none began warming until that moment. Ibanez made them pay for it, lashing a 3-run double to put the Angels on top for the first time all night.

The Nationals couldn’t muster a late rally of their own and wound up with only three hits on the entire evening. They also wound up with a particularly disheartening loss in a ballgame they surely felt like they should have won.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: The Nationals appeared to have Richards on the ropes in the bottom of the fourth, when the Angels right-hander lost all semblance of control for a stretch that included two wild pitches off the backstop and a fastball way up and in to Jayson Werth. Having been handed a bases-loaded rally without producing one hit, though, the Nats managed to push across only one run, via Adam LaRoche’s fielder’s choice, which came on the first pitch he saw right after Richards plunked Werth. Anthony Rendon and Desmond also grounded out, killing a potential rally against a pitcher who seemed ripe for trouble at that moment.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: It’s been a dismal April for Clippard, who entered this game having been scored upon in four of his 10 appearances to date. It’s now 5-of-10 after possibly the worst of his outings this season. Clippard wasn’t helped by his defense — Desmond was charged with his eighth and ninth errors of the year during the fateful eighth inning — but he did little to pick his teammates up. While still protecting a 1-0 lead with two outs and two on, he gave up an RBI single to Aybar, then walked No. 8 hitter Iannetta. That set the stage for longtime Nats nemesis Ibanez to deliver the big blow: a bases-clearing double. Ibanez is now 4-for-10 with two doubles, two homers and nine RBI in his career against Clippard, who has now blown a lead five times this month.

KEY STAT: Five first-round picks in the 2009 draft were on the active rosters of these two teams tonight: Stephen Strasburg (1), Drew Storen (10), Mike Trout (25), Tyler Skaggs (40) and Garrett Richards (42).

UP NEXT: This star-studded series continues Tuesday night with another matchup of young hurlers. Taylor Jordan starts for the Nationals, still seeking his first win of the season. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs, acquired from Arizona in last winter’s Mark Trumbo trade, is on the mound for the Angels.

126 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. lplipty - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    MW worst managing job as a nat. Y leave clippard in to face ibanez!

  2. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    I don’t want to hear MW say anything else except ‘ This loss is on me for using Tyler Clippard in a high stress level situation when he hasn’t proven that he can pitch in one this year… I wanted to save our lefties becuz… Well I don’t know why I saved them considering there were 2 lefties being faced… ‘

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Clip needs to either mop-up for a while or go on the DL & bring Barrett up. I don’t know WHY Williams left him in to fact Ibanez, who is like 3 for 9 against him anyway. What is the point of having all these lefties if you DON;T USE THEM????

      • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        I said earlier that “the game is moving too fast” for Matty, and I really wasn’t kidding.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        That loyalty crap needs to go… Tyler hasn’t proven that he deserves the 8th inning all year…

        Why take Storen out.. Why… Why not use the damn lefties…

        Oh.. I can’t tonight… I’ve never been a Tyler Clippard fan… Never thought anyone can be successful with only 2 pitches… Notice how people are laying off that change up this year…

        MW lost this tonight… I’m so livid…

      • Sonny G 10 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:19 PM

        Too true! +1

  3. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    This loss had 3 major contributors E6 Clip and MW. All had major rolls.

    Clip must move to the 6th. E6 needs a few nights off.

    MW must read the scouting report.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Ball came off the mound funny… So I’m not sure about that…

      But how does Tyler Clippard not look at Pujols once…

      Why does Mw continually put Tyler Clippard in the 8th inning when we know the stats…. Most of the time he goes out and he has a lead, when he leaves it’s either a tie game or they are leading….

      When you have no confidence in your pitcher, you normally press….

      MW lost this game with lack of managing…

  4. Danny - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    Well, too bad. Tomorrow’s another game. Bats need to get going.

  5. Eugene in Oregon - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Ugly ending to what coulda/shoulda/woulda been a win.

    Nats are giving up 4.26 runs per game. League average is 4.08. You can’t win giving up worse than league average.

    • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      They had 1 hit going into the 8th inning. Very questionable whether they should have won. They were lucky to ever be ahead.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Just hoping for a return of smart ball and smart managing. Matty brings in Storen as a ROOGY for Trout and get out of that mess and while I’m ok with Clip facing Pujols, where were these 3 lefties for Ianetta? I wrote it as it was unfolding and can’t stand the DJ style bullpen management where you stick with your 8th inning guy who has been horrible.

    Managers have to put their players in a position to succeed but also put team before individual.

    Loss firmly on Matty.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      I agree, and I am a BIG Clip fan. But face it, Clip is a warm weather pitcher, and his change up is not working, and he can’t throw the curve for strikes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        Yep, he needs to build back his confidence and work his way back.

        Matty has to put these guys in a position to succeed. 3 lefties sitting on the bullpen bench. No way I bring in Cedeno and Blevins worked hard yesterday. Perfect spot for Detwiler.

        I got an email from someone who thought Detwiler should’ve pitched a fresh 8th knowing you had Pujols to L-R-L after him. If you walk Pujols, so be it.

    • Section 222 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      Ianetta is a RH hitter. MW needed to have a lefty ready to bring in to face Ibanez. Cedeno was warming with Storen in the 7th, then sat down and didn’t get up again until Cllp had blown up. Fail.

      I’m with you in faulting MW for not managing that 8th inning well. But it’s silly to “put the loss on him.” Clip failed to do his job, 6th time in 11 appearances. The loss is on him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        Sorry, his name is Ian Stewart and he’s a lefty and bats after Pujols

  7. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    MW is he clueless to Ibaniez has killed Clip.

    Isn’t someone paid to keep stats?

    I watch pretty every night for 9 years. Just ask me.

  8. stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Going to the game tomorrow night. I hope Desi gets a night off to clear his head.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Me, too. With Clip being so fragile, the LAST thing he needed was an error behind him.

  9. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Ian Desmond? No Ian Kinsler, you idiot.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Ian Fleming: “No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die.”

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Yeah… I laughed at that too.. I was like it’s another Ian???lol…

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        Maybe Ian Krol is coming back.

  10. texnat1 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Both Desmond and Werth need a night off.

  11. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Same pitch was the key?

  12. stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Oh. Matt says “Clipp made a pretty darn good pitch” to Ibanez as if that were the only problem. “He hasn’t found the change up yet.”

    Matt, you are a sad and sorry sack of skin.

    • manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      It was a terrible pitch a change up over the middle.

  13. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Rips Harper, but then defends E6 and Clip

  14. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    But ineffective against Ibaniez idiot

  15. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Thank you Kilgore, he just asked my question to Matty and Matty answers him exactly like I would expect as he has to stick up for his player.

    Tomorrow Aaron Barrett will be the new 8th inning setup man.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      What an empty uniform.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      What he should have said was I should have used the match ups differently… Own the loss…. Becuz it’s on him…

      I’m so livid right now…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        Me too Mrs B. Just no excuse with as inconsistent as Clip has been.

      • scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        Me3

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        If he says he should have used the matchups differently he is saying that he has no faith in Clippard. Williams just is not going to do that to a player who is battling as hard as he can, even if that player is coming up short. You won’t ever see Williams say something like that in a press conference.

  16. npb99 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Agree with the comments on Clipper, Desmond and MW. But the Nats blew it badly earlier when they had the bases loaded, no one out, and got just one run on a ground out. The hear of the lineup is anemic these days.

    • Section 222 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      +1

  17. coop202 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    One thing I don’t get about our team is why we let pitchers who just walked batters off the hook so easily? we did it three times tonight in scoring chances (Spans second pitch was a ball, next two could’ve gone both ways). Either way, they put up 12 hits and error free ball (including a Pujols defensive gem????). Outplayed us, simply put.

  18. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Are you serious, right now Matt… Like are you serious…

    Just lost some respect…

    What a waste of a great effort by Roark tonight…

  19. stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Marmol walks ‘em loaded with two outs to bring up Johnson. Roll the dice, Carlos.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      On to the tenth!

  20. scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    MW contradicts himself twice in 30 seconds

  21. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    I hope MW just lied to us. People were pissed when he told the truth. Tonight had to be a lie.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      What did he say? I am watching the Fish. Going into the 10th, left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Clip was not bad is basically what he said.

  22. scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Ibanez is now 4-for-10 with two doubles, two homers and nine RBI in his career against Clippard, who has now blown a lead five times this month.

    Wow. MW pulling Davey card on 8th inning ownership. Dumb.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      Not to worry. Rizzo will take it out of Williams’ hands. Clip will have forearm/back/shoulder soreness & be on the DL tomorrow.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      That was the money line of the whole presser: “Well, Clipp’s been the eighth inning guy here for a long time…”

    • dcwx61 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      The rational response…He’s been our 8th inning guy for a long time and I want to stay with him.
      Justified

      • dcwx61 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        That’s your reason for keeping him in ????
        Gotta come up with something better for tomorrow’s press conference

      • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        He has been. And he’s been a good one. But he isn’t good right now. Can’t just lose game after game in the 8th inning.

      • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        Everything which is justifiable isn’t necessarily smart. I thought Williams was here to make some bold changes in how things are done here, but he’s turned out to be just a Plain Jane take no chances that you might get blamed for kind of bureaucrat.

  23. Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Lol…this board is something else tonight.

  24. NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    Heyward did not exactly rush to get that ball. No hustle.

  25. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    I have to look at that pitch off the mound that was an error to Desi… It looked funny coming off the mound.. Maybe becuz Pujols isn’t as fast he possibly had time..but when balls hit the mound, always quirky…

    But didnt Pujols steal… Lol… Embarassing

  26. scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    First said clip can’t locate fast ball and change up isn’t working yet. Then said he’s not concerned and that he was locating well. Then mumbled the same thing in pig Latin. Hard to trust him now.

  27. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    I am not totally abandoning MW… 20 games in and tha was his first big mistake… The rational side of me understands given Clipp’s history yada, yada, yada…

    BUT in this situation.. You have to go with what works… And clip is not working… I whole heartedly expect Clipp to the DL soon…

    Learn from this Mw… Learn from it.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      his first big mistake

      Beg to differ. In first win against the Cardinals he left McLouth (and then Lobaton) in to face Wacha against whom they were totally overmatched throughout the game, both of whom made feeble outs, predictably, to leave the bases full. No one remembers this because, incredibly, Wacha uncorked a wild pitch and Molina an error and the Nats got handed the game.

      But it solidified my feelings about MW.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        I recorded that game… So I will have to go back and look at it.. But the decision seemingly didnt cost us the game, like today’s decision did…

        Again, in his presser, he should have owned the loss.. He didnt use people appropriately.. I screamed No TYler Clippard… For the love of the baseball gods, no Tyler Clippard… Screw that ‘own an inning carp’. You’ve got personnel use it…

        So we will have to pause that debate (your post) until I can research… :-)

    • Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      It was not his first big mistake. Earlier in the year against the Braves he pitched Cilppard against Heyward when he had Blevins. Cost us the game.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        Ya know… You are right… I totally Zoinked out on that…

        So MW hasn’t learned yet… *slaps forehead*

  28. Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    One comment after another lately comparing Williams and Johnson. Dumbest crap I’ve ever seen on this blog. How about 1372 career managerial wins from one guy vs. 11 career wins for the other? Give me a break. Johnson even to this day has more baseball knowledge than Matt Williams and everybody on this board combined. And sorry, but the stats back me up.Comparing Matt to Davey at this point is bull manure.Johnson didn’t have 3 left handlers in the pen last year to turn to as Matt did tonight. And Williams’ post game comments were lame.

    • scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      That’s ignorant. Comparing styles and demeanor is a mere observation. Past stats aren’t relevant. Let people express themselves. God knows u do.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      I don’t care what Davey would have done or not done in this situation. Totally irrelevant. The question is, what should Matty have done, and this wasn’t it. Yes, Clip WAS good against lefties, yes he did HAVE that like 1.35 batting averag against lefties. But that was when he had his change up working. You have to adjust with the way your players are playing NOW, not what they did last year.

      I sincerely believe Clip will come back to be the usual Clip. But not right now, and the more you put him in bad situations, then you not only have a pitcher whose “stuff” isn’t working but you also have a pitcher who is losing confidence.

      • Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

        W

      • Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        I agree that what Davey would have done is totally irrelevant, but theat the question is what should’ve been done tonight. And “WAS” is the operative word. As to whether Tyler will comeback? Nobody knows. And scmargenau, I can certainly sometimes be a dumbass, first one to admit it, but I am not baseball ignorant. I just find the constant comparison of the two managers at this point in the rookie manager’s carrier to be aughable.

      • Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        Laughable.

      • scmargenau - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 AM

        U r not a baseball ignorant. Didn’t mean to imply that, but the comment was. It’s like comparing anything else. But nobody compared wins. And just cuz Davey knows the game doesn’t mean knows it near 80 like he did at 50. That’s why most coaches retire….they eventually aren’t as good, and the game passes them by.

    • secretwasianman - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Excellent point. Davey has forgotten more about baseball then then bald one knows

      • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        He forgot a lot of it last year.

      • pdowdy83 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        Give me a break. Davey would have still had Clipp in there in that spot too because Davey was loyal, to a fault, to his guys and Clipp was definitely his guy. So much so that I think Clipp’s arm is starting to show the mileage that has been put on it over the last few years.

    • nats128 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I just got home from the game and funny you say this becuz people were saying Matty is just like Davey in set roles in the bullpen. It didnt work last year many times and hasnt worked alot this year. I have no problem with opinions. In Daveys defense he didnt have lefties to start the season.

      Nobody was warming in the 8th for all the lefties and Matty has 3 of them.

  29. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Ian Desmond is a stand up guy. Answers everyone. Not his fault on that one. That could easily be scored a hit.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      So glad I hit refresh before I posted this:

      Regardless of what anyone says, Ian is a stand up guy… Always answers questions and is available regardless if he has no errors or many… Again, that little squibbler of the mound looked hard to adjust… All balls off the mound… But again, didnt Pujols steal a damn base.. Again, embarrassing….

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      I love the guy to death. Always have. He just needs a night off. Probably could have used it before this.

    • scmargenau - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I agree. He owns up

    • manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Based on who the runner was he rushed the play a lot. Had it been Trout rushing makes sence. Pujols no way

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        Tough call as the toughest part was getting the glove on the ball.

      • Section 222 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        Home from the game. What a letdown. I have no problem with using Clip in the 8th. If you haven’t yet pulled him from the 8th inning role and arranged your bullpen accordingly you have to use him, especially since Storen is no longer available. But there is no way he should be pitching to Ibanez with the bases juiced. No way. No Matt, 3-9 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs is not s small sample size, it’s a red flag. You already know that Clip is not effective tonight. Get him the heck out of there.

        I agree 100% with something NL said earlier. History is irrelevant here. Yes,Clip has been the 8th inning guy for a long time, and he’s been great. He’s not great this year. He’s very hittable. 6 out of 11 appearances have been bad. (Don’t forget that the only reason he didn’t give up a run on Friday night is that Storen bailed him out.)

        MW’s answers in the presser were lame. If he’s telling the truth, he may be the only person in town who isn’t concerned about Clip. I think even DP must be worried now. I’m not sure I see an H-Rod like injury being discovered but he should be moved to mop up/6th inning work for awhile to see if he can get his out pitches back. Right now, he’s just not good enough to be the setup man.

        And don’t forget about Clip losing track of the runner on first and letting ALBERT PUJOLS steal second on him. That led to the tying run. And it was incredibly embarrassing. And it reminded me of Game 5, which hurts.

  30. secretwasianman - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Get a rug MW. You look like you manage. Stupid

  31. stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Boom. Evan Gaddis. Game over.

    Chop
    Chop
    Chop

    *sigh*

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Gattis. William Gaddis is a novelist.

  32. NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Watching MIL-SD since we get the Padres next.

    So sorry Roark’s great effort was “wasted.” That guy has a future, he’s tough.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      And it’s over. Milwaukee 15-5 for their first 20 games and I still hate Ryan Braun.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      I’m very sad about that… Just the worst move by MW again, using clipp… Roark should get the 5th spot… Tanner has the nice sinker but Tanner had a rough outting and has improved in both appearances since then… Taylor j hasn’t…

      • Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:29 PM

        I agree re: Roark 100%. To me, TJordan is a bit like Det. If BABIP goes well, so does his outting.

        Roark, on the other hand, can be incredibly dynamic, making it easier for him to adapt when the offense is “seeing” him.

  33. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    I hit the showers did they interview Clip?

  34. BurnedOnce - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Ibanez nemesis. No Nat is anyone’s nemesis. Not in the whole league.

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Willie Harris used to kill the Mets. Oh, you mean now? Hmm.

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        Ramos kills the Mets. Just kills them. 29 games, .381/.408/.701 for an OPS of 1.109. Zim has 13 HRs in 36 games against the Padres, and an OPS of 1.046. There’s more like that, but you get the idea.

  35. Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    The problem with Williams taking full accountability for not having X ready is to do so he has to publicly state that he doesn’t trust Clip to pitch there (the 8th) against a lefty…to do the things it’s literally his job to do. If there are plans to send him down/put him on the “D”L, it would essentially amount to a public demotion.

    That would be a whole lot different than what ” happened ” to Harper, which imo is much ado about nothing

    Speaking of, how many here went from ridiculing Harper to ridiculing MW for “scapegoating” Harper in the span of 1 AB in the bottom of the 8th?

    • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      I used the word scapegoating, but that’s been my position since the controversy broke.

      • stoatva - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        It’s also fairly far down on my list of complaints about Mr Williams.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      When Pujols reached 1st base, he should have immediately come out and gotten Clippard ( of course, Clippard shouldn’t have gone in there period, but whatever)… You have 3 lefties in the BP… You use them situationally… No one would have looked at Clip coming out as a negative… Folks would have said ( I know I would have) great use on the BP… This is why the moves were made in the off-season…

      What kind of message was sent was when Clipp was pulled the other night Storen… Me wants to win games, abandon the loyalty and the owning of the inning…

      • Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        The message I’m talking about is the one that would be sent if he publicly cited trusting Clip as a critical managerial failure. If he did that, any subsequent near-term moves with Clip perceived as a “demotion” could very well be seen as a punishment for failure to execute. That would be pretty intense after only 20 games and 11 tries.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        Let me pose this : what’s so bad about a possible demotion.l. When you aren’t effective, you get passed over… Clipp should learn from and try to improve…

        This is a performance based league… And clip isn’t performing… Tired of him coming in games and blowing things up and we lose…. Sick of it.

      • Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        Generalky speaking, a demotion is fine, absolutely. But, most of the world gets demotions privately in the cozy confines of a boss’s office. Conveying the basis for a demotion to the press before telling the demoted person would be extremely bad form, imo.

        If on the other hand there are no plans to change Clip’s role, publicly conveying a lack of confidence would only make a bad situation worse.

        In other words, I think MW is in a bit of a pickle where the truth is suboptimal whatever the plans are. So, he spins.

        Assuming, of course, that he agrees he made a mistake ;)

    • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      Yeah, this – Eric, I believe I owe you a drink

      • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:34 AM

        Ha! Took me a minute but I found the post you mean up there. Much more succinct than mine ;).

        “Williams just is not going to do that to a player who is battling as hard as he can”

        This is the difference between what Harp was benched for and what Desi and Clip are going through. Harp was benched for lack of effort; I don’t think you can say Clip and Desi are giving anything less than their all. That doesn’t mean you don’t address it, it just means you handle it differently.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      Er, make that “1 AB in the *top* of the 8th.” Doh!

  36. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Clip has failed 5 of 11 times for MW. That seems like he is living on what he did in the past not the present.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      The writing has been on the wall… Saw the stat about Clipp from Mark — something like out of 8 appearances, clip has come in when he has a lead and left with either a tie game or the other team leading….

      Just so disappointed right now… More upset a wonderful pitching effort was wasted as I’m nervous Taylor Jordan won’t be able to deliver tomorrow…

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:26 AM

        The crazy thing is that Clippard’s peripherals aren’t terrible – he’s only giving up a batting average against of .167 coming into tonight’s game, and an OBP of .278. He had 14 strikeouts in 9IP, a 14 K/9 rate and even with the walks a WHIP of 1.111. Most of those stats are pretty good, and even the WHIP, while not great, is not terrible. But the defense fails him, or he makes sure that all of the XBH are preceded by walks so that the maximum number of runs score. He’s just snakebit right now, and he may need a phantom injury just to clear his head.

  37. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Any word from clip yet?

  38. manassasnatsfan - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    What makes me mad about E6 Is I watch a lot of games and other SS is nearly this inconsistent.

  39. coop202 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Tough crowd. Pretty sure half the folks saying bad things about MW loved him Friday (for a somewhat similar situation with a different decision) and backed him up Sunday… In reality Clip is a good pitcher in a rut. We probably are going to need someone with his experience in our pen. Hopefully the boys come fired up tomorrow. we’re still 11-9 with 2-3 games we “should have won” and a few others we stole early on (something we never did last year).

    I prefer to let MW have a chance to prove himself. 20 games in, 142 to go.

    • NatsLady - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      I understand Clip is in a slump. When a hitter is in a slump, you drop him in the batting order (or even sit him) until he gets back into form. Something like that should happen here. If you don’t put him on the DL, then let him mop-up in non-stress situations for a while. And if you want to call it a “demotion,” so be it. This is a performance game.

      • coop202 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        That’s not exactly the same thing. I’ve been reading this blog long enough to know you know better than that comparison… No I don’t think he should have stayed in after the 2nd error, but that’s revisionist history now. He got four outs just fine if short recap I can see online is any indication.

      • coop202 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:36 AM

        Ah I see the second error was later, not the pujols flip.

  40. Joe Seamhead - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Hey, folks, although I think the Davey/Williams comparisons are illogical I still think this particular loss can not be put totally on Matt Williams, though he made managerial mistakes with the bullpen.And his post game comments were lame. Can we talk about 3 hits? That’s not on Matt Williams.

  41. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    That change-up nor that fastball are fooling anyone… Look at how people are sitting on the change up, especially… So what now Clipp… What now….

    Ugh….

  42. whatsanattau - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    I liked Davey. I like Desmond. I like Clippard.

    But, Desi has to put his glove down and look the ball into the glove. Clippard needs to pitch better,

    I would not mind seeing Espinosa at short, but wonder if Walters would be the choice for a day this week.

    I’m still evaluating MW Everybody always hates on the manager. At the moment he seems week on the in game management. Poor pitching decisions. Erratic lineup configuration. Formulaic.

    • Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      What’s that you say? Erratically formulaic? ;)

  43. Section 222 - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Sorry, didn’t mean for this to be a reply to an earlier comment:

    Home from the game. What a letdown. I have no problem with using Clip in the 8th. If you haven’t yet pulled him from the 8th inning role and arranged your bullpen accordingly you have to use him, especially since Storen is no longer available. But there is no way he should be pitching to Ibanez with the bases juiced. No way. No Matt, 3-9 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs is not s small sample size, it’s a red flag. You already know that Clip is not effective tonight. Get him the heck out of there.

    I agree 100% with something NL said earlier. History is irrelevant here. Yes,Clip has been the 8th inning guy for a long time, and he’s been great. He’s not great this year. He’s very hittable. 6 out of 11 appearances have been bad. (Don’t forget that the only reason he didn’t give up a run on Friday night is that Storen bailed him out.)

    MW’s answers in the presser were lame. If he’s telling the truth, he may be the only person in town who isn’t concerned about Clip. I think even DP must be worried now. I’m not sure I see an H-Rod like injury being discovered but he should be moved to mop up/6th inning work for awhile to see if he can get his out pitches back. Right now, he’s just not good enough to be the setup man.

    And don’t forget about Clip losing track of the runner on first and letting ALBERT PUJOLS steal second on him. That led to the tying run. And it was incredibly embarrassing. And it reminded me of Game 5, which hurts.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      We didn’t forget… Clipp has been terrible this year… I disagree with him being even called upon in the 8th inning.. No point this year has he shown that he can be relied Upon to pitch in a high level/stress situation… He shouldn’t be given the 8th inning…

      I was so hoping Lobaton was called out so it could give MW a few more minutes to think bout using Clippard… I started screaming as soon as the 7th came, PLEASE NO TYLER CLIPPARD…

      And what happens.. He comes in and strikes again… Oh wait…

    • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      Yes, I am worried now. However, the numbers against Ibanez are irrelevant to me. Yes, 3-9 is a small sample. It’s very small. That’s why pitcher-hitter numbers are almost always irrelevant. I would have pulled Clippard because he was ineffective, but not because of Ibanez’s numbers off him.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:24 AM

        Yes 3 of 9 is a small sample size, and normally I would agree with you, and plus, even that means 67% of the time Clip gets him out. But you also have to consider that Ibanez has seen Clip plenty, close up, and that the bases are loaded, and Clip’s already given up two hits and allowed a stolen base, all following an error. Clip had already blown the save. So the inning was a mess, and even though Clip is ultra-professional, he wouldn’t be human if it hadn’t gotten into his head a little.

        It’s hard to take a pitcher out with only one out to get, and a history of being good against lefties. If Clip had finished the inning with the game tied, everyone would mutter, but hopefully Desi’s homerun would win it. We know after the fact that didn’t happen. Perhaps we are expecting Williams to see into the future. Cedeno could have let the inherited runner(s) score, and Clip would have been upset, etc. etc.

        So it’s not an easy decision, and there was not a lot of time to make it. But there is time now, and hopefully Williams is spending the night formulating a plan.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:28 AM

        Just like rookies find that the game “moves faster” at the major-league level, I suspect Williams is finding the game moves a lot faster for a manager than a third-base coach. He is a rookie, after all, so we should not be surprised if he makes rookie mistakes. The question is, how will he address this issue?

      • manassasnatsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:32 AM

        Actually I typed, but h% to delete a comment, that despite getting Ibaniez out it was a poor move. Then he gave up the double so I had to delete the message.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:24 AM

        Well that’s progress. But really? 2 HR in 9 ABs, and you’re going to dismiss that as irrelevant? Wow.

  44. zmunchkin - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Matt Williams needs to learn how to manage a BP. He is a disaster.

    First they have to send Barrett down because he over-uses his BP and need a fresh arm. Which means we don’t have him for 10 days.

    Then he has used Clippard in 11 of the Nats 20 games. Downright stupid to over-use any reliever like that.

    I sincerely hope MW learns from all the mistakes he has made so far this year.

    • Eric - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      I don’t blame him for bullpen overuse…5/5 starters had TERRIBLE, bed-soiling outings in a week. What was he supposed to do, turn to the bench to keep Barrett here longer?

      • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Actually, make that 5 starters and one long reliever (Stammen).

  45. scmargenau - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:39 AM

    Oy! Here’s the issue ALS I see it through my non rosy colored glasses:

    – a manager can cost or win a team a +/- diff of 6-10 games
    – that matters!
    – last year I counted 10-12 losses dir on Davey. That’s why I didn’t support him. He was a grandpa handing out cookies.
    – matts here to change that.
    – so far I see at least 3 games he may have lost. I know u all saw it too. Double lefties, Bryce at 2 for no reason, clip, clip, eight inning ritual from ghost of baseball past, etc.

    If u r not a bit concerned that MW might not be what we thought, u r wearing those rosy glasses

    • scmargenau - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:40 AM

      as not ALS

      #crappycommentplugin

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