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Williams shows faith in Clippard despite struggles

Apr 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

AP AP

Tyler Clippard has been among baseball’s most-effective relievers for more than four years now, and he has shown an ability to bounce back from several rough stretches along the way.

Which is why Nationals manager Matt Williams has continued to show faith in the 29-year-old set-up man and why he didn’t hesitate to stick with Clippard during last night’s fateful eighth inning, even against the left-handed Raul Ibanez in the evening’s biggest at-bat.

“Clip’s been the eighth-inning guy here for a long time,” Williams said. “Certainly (his) track record indicates that he’s good against lefties. He’s just as effective against left-handers as he is right-handers. So I want to stay with him there. I want him to be our guy that shuts down that eighth inning.”

Clippard, of course, surrendered the 3-run double to Ibanez that turned a tie game into a 4-1 Nationals deficit. The hit came at the end of a ragged inning for Clippard, who allowed five Angels to reach base (the first on Ian Desmond’s error) and clearly appeared in trouble when he walked No. 8 hitter Chris Iannetta to load the bases in advance of Ibanez’s pinch-hit.

Williams would not have been questioned had he pulled Clippard there and summoned one of his three lefty relievers to face Ibanez instead. But Xavier Cedeno, who was warming earlier in the inning, had taken a seat and didn’t get back up again until after the Iannetta walk, too late to enter the game to face Ibanez.

“We have our guys set in the bullpen the way we want to have them set,” Williams said. “I think that the fact that [Clippard] just hasn’t had location is worrisome on his mind, but I also want him to close down eighth innings for us.”

The question is whether Williams will continue to feel that way moving forward. Can he continue to entrust Clippard in those situations given his struggles — five times now he has entered with the Nationals ahead or tied and departed with them trailing — or does he need to consider another reliever for that spot?

Williams has options if he chooses to consider them. Drew Storen has been downright dominant so far this year, putting only two men on base in 7 1/3 innings, striking out nine without issuing a walk. Aaron Barrett, who retired 13-of-16 batters he faced before getting optioned to Class AAA Syracuse on April 12, is eligible to be recalled today and very well could be in the Nationals bullpen for the second game of this series.

And what of those lefties? Jerry Blevins hasn’t necessarily been in top form so far, but he has 11 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, hasn’t surrendered an earned run in six appearances, though only once he has entered a game with the Nationals leading, and only twice has he entered a game with a margin of fewer than three runs.

Perhaps Williams will start using one or more of those relievers in spots that until now have been reserved for Clippard. But there’s no denying the rookie manager’s genuine faith in the man who has thrown more innings than any other reliever in baseball since 2009.

Which means something to the guy currently trying to battle his way through a rough stretch, hoping he can get back on track soon and justify his manager’s loyalty.

“You want your manager to have faith in you,” Clippard said. “I think from my perspective, I know who I am. It’s good to hear that he has the confidence in me, but it’s not something I necessarily need. I’m going to go out there and do my job at the end of the day. Like I said before, whether it’s the ninth or the first inning, I’ll be fine.”

141 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. djbinfl - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    ” the man who has thrown more innings than any other reliever in baseball since 2009.”
    Maybe that is the problem. An adjustment of some sort seems to be explored.

  2. djbinfl - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    An adjustment of some sort needs to be explored.

  3. rmoore446 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Williams would not have been undercutting Clippard by having a lefthander ready. He must have been aware that Ibanez has hit Clippard hard. With the problems Clip has had recently, he wasn’t doing him any favors by leaving him in. Very hard to justify Williams’ actions and inactions.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      I don’t even understand why T Clippard was put out there in the first place.. what has he done this year to justify being able to pitch in a hig level/stress situation…

      I was hoping Drew would have continued the 8th and then det came in… but no, Typical Tyler Clippard came in…

      • jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Because he’s got a 4 year history proving he can do the job. Fans always remember the last few starts but a manager must protect his assets.

        I 100% disagree with Laddie. You keep playing 1 run games and in the long run you will be close to .500. When we had a 1 – 0 lead we had exactly 1 hit in the game. Yes, sometimes you can win this way but not on a consistent bases.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        What in the hell does 2011, 2012 or 2013 have to do with RIGHT NOW… This year (which is all that counts) Tyler Clippard has been abysmal…

        Everyone is sitting on the change up… The high fast ball isn’t fooling anyone… He should not have been out there. Period. Stats for this year (once again, all that is relevant) have shown that Tyler Clippard can not be depended on… Nats were winning before he came in the game.. and losing once again when he left…

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Storen was clearly the man needed in the 7th; with the tying run on base and Trout and Pujols coming up you want your best, right there, to protect a 1-0 lead. So, Storen in the 7th to get out of the inning, whether that required facing one or more batters.

        But Drew wasn’t going to continue in the 8th unless he was brought in with a double switch or unless the pitcher’s spot didn’t come up. The problem with the doubleswitch was where the team as in the lineup – the last three batters for the Nats in the 6th were Werth, LaRoche and Rendon. LaRoche and Rendon weren’t coming out – the dropoff both offensively and defensively in a tight game just doesn’t make it worthwhile. Werth? Maybe. But Werth’s spot is likely to come up even if the game doesn’t go to the 9th inning. And as much as Werth has been in a funk the last few days, there’s still a hit offensively. And if you sub in McLouth there, you’re lining up three lefties (McLouth, Span, Harper) in the batting order for the Angels as LOOGY bait. And if you don’t double switch, once Lobaton walks you’re not going to have Storen hit in a tie game, so out he comes.

        So for most of it Williams’s moves I get the thought process. The only move I don’t get is not having Cedeno pitch to Ibanez. But once that happens, he’s not going to call Clippard out indirectly by blaming himself for the move.

      • bowdenball - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Mrsb loves the Nats – Apr 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM”

        “What in the hell does 2011, 2012 or 2013 have to do with RIGHT NOW… This year (which is all that counts) Tyler Clippard has been abysmal… ”

        MrsB, if you think all that matters is 2014 performance, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Right now Miguel Cabrera has an OPS of .609 and Charlie Blackmon has an OPS of 1.121. Would you like to wager on which finished the season with the better number? I’ll let you take Blackmon, since 2011, 2012 and 2013 don’t matter and this year is all that counts.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        +1 for therealjohnc’s comment. Storen wasn’t an option in the 8th. And he was the right guy for the 7th. Maybe MW should have warmed Det and brought him in for the 8th. But I was ok with starting out with Clip. He just left him in too long.

      • laddieblahblah - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        JD

        “I 100% disagree with Laddie. You keep playing 1 run games and in the long run you will be close to .500.”

        If you keep losing them you will be well below .500. There will always be 1-run games. The object is to win as many as possible. You increase your chances of doing that by playing fundamentally sound baseball. That has been Matt’s approach from day one of ST. The Nationals are not doing that, in spite of all the time spent doing IF practice, as often as possible, and in spite of all the emphasis on holding base runners in ST..

        The object is not to try and play as many 1-run games as possible, it is to win as many of them as you can. Do you really disagree with any of that?

  4. Joe Seamhead - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    Best line of the morning, in my opinion:

    Section 222 – Apr 22, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Just imagine what people would be saying here if Soriano had blown 6 saves in 11 tries. Yikes.

    • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Somehow I doubt MW would be standing by him and saying, “so I want to stay with him there. I want him to be our guy that shuts down that ninth inning.” I sure hope he wouldn’t.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        I see the parody that Eric ( I think it was Eric) was trying to make… You stand up with Tyler Clippard who has been horse dung this year but bench a guy like Harp who gives it 110% all the time (yeah yeah, he didn’t run the routine grounder but whatever)….

      • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        I don’t think that was me, as I see what Harper did and what Desi and Clippard are going through in utterly different lights. I think Desi and Clippard are working their a**es off trying to get right, and they aren’t succeeding right now. That’s something that should be addressed very differently than simply not trying.

        With Harper, it was lack of effort.

        I also think if you read between the lines it’s very clear what happened with Harper. On Thursday, Williams meets with the whole team.

        On Saturday, Harper is benched for breaking an agreement the whole team made with Williams. I strongly suspect the message/deal was something like, “if you give it 100% and make a mistake, I have your back publicly. Period. If you DON’T give it 100%, I don’t.” If you look back, MW has never been anything but publicly supportive of a struggling player. Even when he moved Harper to the 7 hole, he spun it as giving Harper an opportunity to steal more bases.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        I agree that there’s a big difference between failure to execute and failure to hustle. Mental errors like forgetting about the slow but smart runner on first fall somewhere in between. There’s no need to publicly blast Clip or Desi for their problems. There is a need to figure out whether a change can be made that will make those problems go away or at least ameliorate the harm that they cause the team. MW has to do something about the Clip problem. I mean, even DP is now worried.

  5. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I for 1 am glad… I can imagine the vitriol … *shudders*

  6. stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    I am a Nats fan, therefore I have to hope for the best with regard to Matt Williams, because he’s not going anywhere soon. I don’t like the vibe I get from him, though. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

    If it’s true, as Boswell reported, that the Nats’ players were told that “the next one who doesn’t run out a grounder gets taken out of the game,” then I have to give MW the benefit of the doubt in that instance. I just wish it weren’t the only example of “accountability” I can think of so far this season. If you’re prepared to publicly dress down your young star, who’s been a lightning rod for venomous, spiteful comments nationwide since he was sixteen years old, then why be hyper-sensitive to the feelings of veterans like Clippard and McLouth whose performance has been lacking, when there are eager, able alternatives on the bench?

    I am not impressed by his demeanor in post-game pressers, or during situations as they develop in games. He looks like a zombie most of the time. Because he was a certain way as a player, it’s been supposed that that would carry over as a manager, but I have seen scant evidence of this. I’d have liked for him to get himself tossed over that horrendous third strike call to Rendon, just to shake things up, but he seems to be risk-averse in the extreme.

    I will be happy to revisit, revise, and rescind these comments when I see evidence to the contrary, but I don’t feel good about anything I’m seeing from the manager at this early stage. Flame away.

    • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      There’s a big difference between dressing down a player for lack of hustle, or even for a mental error, and blasting someone for their performance. Clip perhaps should take heat from the manager for not paying attention to Pujols on 1st, but he can’t blast him for not pitching well. He can, however, not leave him in when he’s clearly not at his best, and change his role in the pen until he gets better.

      I really don’t think he’s leaving Clip in his setup role because he’s worried about his feelings. He truly still thinks that Clip is the best guy for the job. And that worries me.

      • stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Agreed that the two situations are not directly comparable.

        I suspect many of us who’ve followed the Nats for a few years have nightmares about Davey Johnson “sticking with his guy” in a particular situation, come hell or high water, and hoped that Williams would bring a different approach. Still waiting.

        Thanks for a thoughtful reply (from Sec 225, right below you).

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Sure thing. By the way, I’m actually in 314 now, but spent three happy years in 222, Row C and visited your section often when it was too hot and sunny during summer day games. There used to be a very nice usher there who let me sit in the back.

      • Sonny G 10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        +1 deuces

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        222, a lot of good posts by you today. I think you get the situation.

        When you take out Clippard’s Low Lev performances all that is left is a high ERA mess. I’m a big Clip fan and it’s clear he needs to be restarted in Low Lev situations and ease him back in.

        Storen has earned the 8th inning job and Barrett or Detwiler to 7th inning.

    • micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      to add, MW can practice what he preaches by sitting Desi’s ass on the bench one game. Move Espi to ss, Frandsen (who has been a great pickup) to 2b. MW needs to let him know that 8 errors in 21 days in unacceptable and worse, hitting 230 is not helping the team either. In the past, Desi always seemed to make up his errors at the plate, so far, he not only stinks in the field, his at bats have been terrible which magnifies why his play is one of the worst in MLB so far

  7. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Ive come to the conclusion… we will never agree on this issue… I hope to not see tyler clippard come out of the bp in any type of high/stress situation until he proves that he deserves it and can be relied upon… and that is not right now…

  8. micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    The fact is, Clip has lost 4 of the 9 games the Nats have lost period. If he can not get his act togeher, he needs to work it out in the minors the way Drew did. He is killing this team right now. As far as Desi goes, i have read some posts that state Desi is the best SS in MLB. hmm…. I wonder how many best infielders in MLB commit 8 errors in one season let alone one freaking month??

    • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      It’s unusual for an infielder, particularly a middle infielder, to NOT commit eight errors in a season. How unusual? Any Barves’ fan will tell you that Andrelton Simmons is the best defensive player who ever lived. And to be fair Simmons is really, really excellent at defense. And committed 14 errors last season.

      • micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        well, Desi has more than half that in less than 1 month

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        True – I was responding to your question “I wonder how many best infielders in MLB commit 8 errors in one season let alone one freaking month.” The answer being, essentially, all of them.

        Desmond is struggling all around these days, even with the HR in the 9th last night (my gosh, that ball was crushed). A day off here or there might be helpful, or it might not. But you don’t sit an excellent SS (or player, really) based on 20 games. A few years ago Derek Jeter got off to a horrendous start for the first two months. He ended up carrying the team for much of the remaining season and ended up with numbers very close to his career numbers. With good players, trying to time hot streaks and cold streaks is like trying to time the stock market – it doesn’t really work.

      • texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        No way you can bench Desi. Not unless the defense spirals out of control.

      • veejh - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Isnt our D spiralling out of control?

      • texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        I was referring to his specifically. And although it has been bad, unless it stays this bad for an extended period of time or gets worse, you can’t bench him.

        You really can’t bench him regardless until Zim comes back because then you have to play Frandsen or Walters daily in the infield, which isn’t going to be pretty.

        But I’d give him a day off.

  9. micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    until RZim is back, which is of course an adeventure every time he throws across the diamond, where is the tough love from MW on Desi?? I mean, why not sit him and his 230 BA and his 8 errors in one month, I repeat, one month and the month is not even over on the pine, move espi to SS and play Frandsen who can hit and field at 2b??

    • Sonny G 10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      You actually might see some of that when Ryan gets back, except I would have Rendon at second instead of Frandsen. Overall though, you got to give Desi a chance to work out of his slump.

    • jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      Mick,

      I am sorry but you again over react to recent occurrences. You don’t sit Desmond for Frandsen because Desmond is twice as good as Frandsen.If you sit Desmond you will miss the hot streak which history and statistics say is very likely to come.

      • micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        JD

        again, 8 errors in 23 ddays, think about it, something is not right. In fact, stats show he will continue to make mistakes unless he sits for awhile, Frandsen right now is hitting better and he can play a solid 2b a few games. Espi is a natural short stop so if anything the infield gets stronger. based on your rationale, then why sit any slumping player?

        with all due respect, i do not think its an over reaction when a player has 8 errors in 23 dayss and is hitting poorly, especially when a player like Frandsen is playing well

      • therealjohnc - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        In fact, stats show he will continue to make mistakes unless he sits for awhile

        Source for those stats, please? In rebuttal I will point out that Desmond made 7 errors in the first 18 games last season, kept playing every day, and didn’t make another error for 60+ games.

        Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=desmoia01&t=f&year=2013

      • bowdenball - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Ouch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a point refuted as soundly as that. “stats will show he will continue to make mistakes” indeed.

        Nobody deserves a longer leash from Nats fans than Desmond. Ignore for a second that fact that he’s an incredibly hard worker and a great representative of the team and the city. Consider instead the fact that he’s been doubted twice- once after 2011 when Nats fans were calling for him to lose his starting spot, and once in early 2013 when he had similar early defensive struggles. Both times he responded by playing at all all-star level.

        Guess you can’t really expect fans to learn from their past mistakes, though. Not when there’s knee-jerk reactions to be had and scapegoats to yell at on the internet.

  10. micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    maybe Desi can set the all time record for errors in 1 month, we have 8 more days of April left, my money says he gets to 10 before May 1, but I know, he is the best SS in MLB according to the NI experts in here

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      “he is the best SS in MLB according to the NI experts in here”

      This is where you leave me flat. Last season he started off very shaky, too, especially in the field, but he ended up in the running for the gold glove award.

      I’m all about giving the guy a mental health day, but to suggest his success is only in the imaginations of NIers is provably wrong, and easily so.

  11. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    In other news… I hope Taylor J has a good game…

  12. Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Mrs. B, I wanted to comment on this one…let me preface this by saying I agree that we’re either at or VERY close to the point where the team needs to adjust Clip’s role until he gets right.

    That said…

    “What in the hell does 2011, 2012 or 2013 have to do with RIGHT NOW… This year (which is all that counts) Tyler Clippard has been abysmal… ”

    2011, 2012, and 2013 have everything to do with right now. Clippard has a history and it’s a LOT longer and stronger than his very rough start in 2014. I also think one of the most difficult aspects a manager’s job is to strike a balance between reaction and stability. If you threw established roles to the wind every time a bad pattern emerged (say, 3+ bad outings from a pitcher), you would have chaos. No one would know what to expect, except the possibility of rapid demotion for poor performance. Confidence would be low and resentment would be high.

    Of course, if you let poor performers continue too long in their role, morale will drop and the impetus to give everything 100% may wane. Hence, I agree Clip’s situation requires action now or very soon. Maybe the first step would simply be that he doesn’t go in during the 8th unless the Nats are up at least 3 runs, and another arm starts warming the moment someone gets on base.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      PS – same goes for Desi…he needs to rest today or very soon, imo.

      But, as I said in another reply above, there’s absolutely no call to publicly call either out like Harper was, because it’s clear to me that Clip and Desi aren’t mailing it in, they’re just getting lost en route.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      I don’t agree… Sorry… But that is why I said earlier (weird becuz I thought I replied to my original comment to JD but I guess the cache thing didn’t work — whatever :) ) we will never agree on this.

      I just feel like right now Tyler Clippard is an issue this year and his performance this year dictates that he shouldn’t be used in high-level stress situations. I think we should use history as how good a guy can be but right now, he isn’t there…

      But its cool, we can agree to disagree. For our sake, since he is on the team, I hope to the baseball gods that he gets right quick…

  13. unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    My two pennies:

    Matty is a rookie Manager. I do not expect him to manage like someone with 10 years experience, or who’s had his hands on this roster for 2-3 years. I expect him to try different things (lineup card), because that’s how you learn about your team, not just how they produce at different spots, but how they react and adjust to different situations. I also expect him to respect and encourage the veterans who’ve brought this team to where it is (sorry MrsB, but this seems a no-brainer, to me). Clip has been highly effective, I’ve the past few years, in a role where one needs a short memory. Maybe he’s used up, but a half dozen appearances does not make that case to the degree that you wanna give up and throw him away, and demoting him, 3 weeks into the season is the first and biggest step toward that eventuality, seems to me. Clip knows there are other options available to Matty, and if he gets himself straight, before much longer, then the whole team will have seen that The Skipper has their backs and believes in them. This is not a “don’t worry, it’s early” post… But this is not a returning championship team, and Matty is not a veteran Manager, who’s been pushing these guys buttons for a few years. For me, he can make all the goofs he feels is nessecary to learn what he needs to learn, as long as he doesn’t make the same goofs, over and over….

    Still VERY confident in this organization… They’ve earned it

    • Sonny G 10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I like your thoughts, unkyd

      • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        +1

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Has been… sure clip has been highly effective… he isn’t right now… as Mark/chase and others have noted THIS YEAR out of 11 appearances, at least 5 he comes in with a lead and leaves with giving either the other team a lead or the tie…

      But again, for our sake and the Nats of course I hope Tyler Clippard figures ‘it’ out…

  14. Sonny G 10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    I was so livid after last night’s game I couldn’t put two words together without cursing. I did take a peep at what you folks were saying and you expressed exactly how I felt, so I didn’t need to say anything anyway.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      I have a 15 page paper due on Friday… I had 1 page as of the 8th inning last night… I got so upset fter the loss, I ended up writing 10 pages and didn’t go to bed until 3 this morning…

      I hope I didn’t put anything about the Nas in there.. lol.. I was cussing them out something seriously…

  15. jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    The real problem is not just blowing a late one run lead. The problem is only having a 1 run lead. Until Span, Harper, Werth, Desmond start hitting again and until Zim and Ramos return we will always be in close games (that is if our starting pitching holds up) and we will win some and lose some (probably close to .500).

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      +1

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Which is why pitching is also important….

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      But to your greater point… yeah, we want the Nats to always have a comfortable (idk what is comfortable for you but for me, its 5 :) ) but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way…

      Most of the time when we see low scoring games, 1 -0 or 2-0 normally a pitcher’s duel… ABSOLUTELY the nats should have taken advantage of Richards wildness… they didn’t (unfortunate) but still had the lead…

  16. tcostant - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Jerry Blevins should have started that inning, I think 3 LH were due up. I’m sick this morning from all this.

    • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      The batters due up in the 8th were L, R, L, S, R, PH. So yes, he could have used a lefty like Blevins or Det, and hoped for a 1-2-3 inning. But using a rightie like Clip who is very good against lefties (check the numbers if you doubt that) is a reasonable decision. He just stuck with him too long. There is just no way a clearly subpar Clip should face Nats-Killer, Clip-Killer Raul Ibanez with the bases loaded when you have three rested lefties in the pen. No way.

  17. scnatsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Glad Clip thinks there is no problem and all will be ok.

    After all that was the 2013 Nats mantra.

    You want Williams to use you as the 8th inning guy? How about preserving some leads. I respect what you have done but baseball is very clearly what have you done for me lately.

  18. stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    I’m hoping that blast in the ninth knocked all the bad mojo out of Desi’s system.

  19. philipd763 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    “Williams shows faith in Clippard despite struggles” Huge mistake by a rookie manager. Clip has been hit hard last season despite his decent stats (which are deceiving) and this year (including spring training). Relievers have a short shelf life and Clip has already exceeded his. Even the all star Braves closer, Craig Krimbrel, is now in decline and nursing a bum shoulder. Only Mariano Riviera lasted forever!

    • unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      …and Eck….

  20. stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    To try and say something in Williams’ defense, I think if the team can keep the wheels from coming off (they ARE still two games over .500) into May when we can expect Ramos, Fister and RZim back, and MW matures as a leader and manager then we will be in good shape headed into the meat of the season.

    Like I said, I’m a fan. I gotta believe, until there’s nothing left to believe in. I’ll certainly be there tonight, pulling for them.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      The hopes I stated for April last week were:
      Split with the Cards [check]
      3+ games over .500 on 5/1

      We can still achieve the second. If we do, that’s fantastic.

      • texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        Fantastic is probably a little strong given how weak the schedule was for April.

        But it would be good enough.

      • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Fantastic is exactly how I’ll feel given that we’re missing 3 absolutely critical pieces (Zim, Ramos, and Fister) and were without Span for a week, too.

  21. philipd763 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    jd said “The real problem is not just blowing a late one run lead. The problem is only having a 1 run lead.”

    An even more embarrassing problem was having only one hit through the first seven innings! That is downright pathetic. Ramos is out and could end up being another Jesus Flores. Zimmerman is out. Werth is beginning to look like Jason Werthless again, especially in the field and Harper looks lost. It’s not a pretty picture right now…and I was stupid enough to blame this team’s underperformance on Davey and Eckstein!

    • jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      For the record I don’t agree with almost anything you say. I think some players are slumping, that’s all. I think Harper will bust out soon, as will Desmond. I think this will make a big difference.

      • unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        +1

      • Joe Seamhead - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        plusses from me, too.

  22. texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    W/r/t Desmond, he needs a day off.

    So does Werth. Werth needs to be rested regularly as the Nats really need him healthy and firing on all cylinders all year long. They also need for him to remain a good ball player as long possible given that contract. He should be sitting vs. tough righties perhaps as much as once a week. And he shouldn’t have any say in the matter.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      I tend to agree, and I think that would be the plan, but we’re already depleted. As a matter of fact, he tweaked his groin the day before RZim went down, iirc, and was off the next day…and hasn’t been off since.

      In any case, I’m not sure why, but I got the sense that Werth was feeling better yesterday. Seemed to be moving better in the outfield, had some decent throws in, and looked more relaxed at the plate, albeit not back to face-eating form.

      I bet he comes out of it by the end of this series or the beginning of the next.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        It was impossible to rest Werth while Span was out. Moreover, you don’t want to put Harper in RF (at least I don’t) anywhere except perhaps at Nats Park (because you are just asking for injuries and misplays in the more difficult corner).

        So you are looking at an outfield of Harper-Span-McLouth if Werth sits. Tell me you want that outfield, just tell me.

      • texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        For a game here and there against a tough righty, I don’t mind it at all. Werth hasn’t been adding anything to the equation lately anyways. And McClouth is a good player, who is just off to a slow start with limited opportunities to work out of it.

        Let’s not act like sitting Werth here and there is some impossible dream. It’s a necessity given his age, his importance to the team, and the millions and millions of dollars pledged to him over the next four seasons.

  23. lplipty - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I’m hoping Oakland’s new bullpen strategy works well, so that will set a precedence in scrapping the 7th, 8th, and closer roles. And, instead using pitchers based on matchups!!!!!

    ….In due time, i’m surprused Tampa hasnt used this more often

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      +1

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        +2 although l like a set closer unless the leadoff batter in the 9th dictates a LOOGY as you may see playing Atlanta with Heyward or Freeman.

        Baseball has become more specialized and why not use your weapons in the bullpen to your advantage.

        Like someone said, you worry about Trout and Pujols and making sure they don’t have men on base with less than 1 out when they come up to bat.

  24. David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I said when Zim went down: we just need to stay afloat until Zim, Ramos and Fister come back. Don’t dig a big hole. If you’re expecting us to go on a big run without 3 crucial pieces of the team, that’s just unfair IMO. So far they’re doing that. They’re playing roughly .500 ball and if they continue that, they’ll finish April a couple games above .500 (which is better than 2013). That’s fine with me.

    • unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      +1

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      +1

  25. Theophilus T.S. - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    The problem w/ “checking the numbers” (e.g., the historical Clippard v. LHs) is that it ignores the present. Right now it’s akin to sending an arsonist in to tend a campfire. It’s the fallacy of over-statisticking. What have you done for me lately? In fact, the “numbers” are probably part of Clippard’s problem. He’s been overused and over-exposed for four plus seasons. Other than Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and maybe Troy Percival I have a very difficult time naming relievers who’ve had five consecutive lights-out, the party’s over seasons. Clippard’s specific problem right now is lack of command, BBs way up, lots of long counts. But he’s due for a clunker and this year appears to be it. Put him back in the mop-up role for a while and see if he can work himself out of it.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      “Clippard’s specific problem right now is lack of command, BBs way up, lots of long counts. But he’s due for a clunker and this year appears to be it.”

      Command strikes me as a rather fixable problem, unless you’re suggesting he has the yips? If it’s a matter of the league figuring him out, that’s a bigger problem. I do think that might be in play here.

      As for him being “due” for clunker, you’re basing this on stats, and for other pitchers, no less, going back how many decades? In that context, Clip’s few years are “what he’s done for us lately,” and your entire argument falls prey to the fallacy of over-statisticking…imo.

      We’ll see where he ends up. I’m concerned, but I’m not going to infer his utter demise from 2 weeks of struggles.

  26. stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    As far as Kimbrel being “in decline,” it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on with him. Yeah, he coughed up the save and got tagged in doing so, but then he looked just like the Kimbrel of old striking out three in a row with go-ahead runners on second and third and no one out.

    Beisbol… whaddya gonna do?

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      It seems plausible to me that Kimbrel is hurting, and with the game on the line he redoubled his effort and pushed past the pain…if that’s what’s happening, he could end up in a bad place…

  27. Drew - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Earl Weaver:

    “I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than I gave my first wife.”

    Course, in a six-year span Cuellar won somewhere between 18 and 24 games every year.

    That guy deserved a long leash. I would bury Clippard in the 6th inning.

  28. David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    This will be an interesting start for Jordan. He had one very good start, one very bad start and one start where it looked worse than it was. I thought he was pretty good last timeout, but his defense let him down. A win today would be nice, but I’m not really expecting it. This is a very tough lineup.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      I had pegged the Nats to win the first game, lose the 2nd and then win the 3rd… Hopefully the can win today… Keep the ball down TJ…

  29. lplipty - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Angles lineup isnt that tough, once u get pass Trout n Old Man Pujols

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      I thought I read that they’re the third-highest scoring team in baseball right now?

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        You read correctly. Runs per game (before last night) = 5.39

        Nats were 6th, with 4.53, but that’s for the entire season, not recently (I don’t have an easy way to look at the last 7 days, but I may start doing that).

  30. Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    The laugher email I got and calling out someone was blaming Schu. Nats yesterday were 4th in runs scored. How does Schu get thrown under the bus?

    Yesterday was a bad offensive day no doubt but it happens. Ump wasn’t as bad as I thought, only gave 3 of Richard’s pitches as bad strikes. The problem was he missed the catchers mitt that they weren’t able to be framed but the ump knew his zone.

    • Eric - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Good to hear about the ump. I really appreciate the insights you’re gathering on that front. I often find myself wondering if the Nats fall prey to bad ball/strike calls–both while pitching and at bat–but not trusting that as I’m so biased. Will be interesting to see how this plays out (to the extent that you can/want to keep it up ;) ).

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        He actually got the K right on Rendon. It missed the target by so much that Ianetta framed it out of the K zone.

        Just wanted to be fair as it looked worse on TV but after Gibson on Sunday I think it was the aftershock.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Ghost – I will have to take your word about the K to Rendon… I watched it about 3 times and I swear it was off the plate…

        btw, how do I get on the emails??

  31. akiterp - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    This is the exact same string of comments as last year … just insert “Storen” wherever you find “Clippard” and this is what I reading last year. Same manager-hate … again just change the names and a few adjectives

    My guess is that ancient managers as well as rookie managers know how to handle pitchers that get into a slump of mega proportions.

    • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      You know, there’s something to that. And last year, finally, they “demoted” Storen, and then sent him to Syracuse to figure things out. They did not send him out there night after night to get shelled and then stand up and say, “I want him to be the guy who locks down the 7th inning.” Looks like that worked, finally. Would Storen have rebounded without that tough love? Maybe. But we probably would have lost more games last season.

      One of the reasons that people focused on Clip last night instead of the hitting is that there is something that could have been done about Clip. That’s not true about the offense. What would people suggest — pinch hit for Harper or Werth? Sure, the Nats needed better hitting last night, but doesn’t excuse or explain Clip’s bad performance or MW’s mistake of leaving him in.

      • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        They did not send him out there night after night to get shelled and then stand up and say, “I want him to be the guy who locks down the 7th inning.”

        They sent him down in mid-July, which was the appropriate timetable. You give guys with track records time to work out their flaws. Only if they show over a prolonged period that they’re not getting better do you think about demotion like that.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        You could have done something about Clip, in theory. But let’s remember how we’d all be yowling if one of the lefties had given up the base-clearing hit to Ibañez. He doesn’t have a big platoon split, he hit about the same lefties/righties last year, although over his entire career it’s about 30 points less vs. LHP.

        I still might have gone with Cedeño because of the unfamiliarity factor. Not because of Clip’s history, but because there is a history, and the more a smart hitter sees the same pitcher, the more he can adjust.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        I don’t think anyone would have said anything about 1 of the lefties if they had given up a hit… Reason for being, becuz it is the more ‘advantageous’ matchup so it would have made more sense… especially given how ‘clutch’ Clip had been this year.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        There you go again DP, supporting every decision made by the manager or GM. No room for any disagreement as far as you are concerned. You probably thought it was appropriate to give Matt Stairs until July in 2011 to work out his issues because of his “track record” of being an excellent pinch hitter. And it was the right decision to let Tracy occupy a spot on our bench all season long last year with his sub-Mendoza average because he had a “track record” of hitting well for us the year before.

        Ok, fine, let me ask you this. Clip has now failed in 6 of his 11 appearances. He’s been so bad that even you are worried about him. So given his track record, how long would you put up with that kind of record before you make some kind of change? Please don’t say till July. The season will be long since lost by then.

        Some of us think the time for a change is now. Maybe others say give him another week or two. Back when I said I was worried about him and you scoffed at that, I wasn’t ready to say he should no longer by our setup guy. But now I am. We don’t know what Rizzo/MW will do, and whatever they say you’ll support it as the appropriate step I’m sure. But where do you stand now? How much longer would you put up with a setup guy who fails every other game?

      • unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        +1, DP

      • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        I can’t put an exact timetable on how long Clippard should get, but more than 3 weeks of the season, that’s for sure. You don’t just demote someone who has been your best reliever for four years. People wanted Clip traded or released after he struggled some in 2012. Remember that? You can’t make kneejerk reactions, and yes, 6 innings is a kneejerk reaction. He’s earned the right to some bad appearances without losing his job. If he’s still struggling a month from now, then we’ll talk. In the meantime, I keep running him out there. Though I would be quick with the trigger to get him out of there if it appears to be one of the bad outings.

        Comparing 11 appearances and 6 bad outings from Clippard to Tracy or Stairs is quite the stretch. For every Tracy or Stairs who never turn it around, there are several who do. I mean, look at what Bowdenball posted above. Charlie Blackmon is way outhitting Miguel Cabrera. It’s not unreasonable to give a guy who has proven himself as one of the most elite setup men in baseball some more rope.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Ok, I’ll ask you the same question, unky? How long is too long to keep Clip as he is if he continues to fail every other appearance? What’s the prolonged period you’d give him before making a change?

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        At what point becomes ‘too late’…

        Fascinating discussion… as I ‘see’ both sides… History says 1 thing but he now says something else…

        Is the answer as simple as just putting him out there when its not a stressful situation, but that puts pressure and limits the BP to being without a man, essentially — kinda how Matthieu was treated last year…

        I don’t know if the quick hook helps him though.. so I am giving you a chance to do your thang but the first time you mess up, I just take you out.. no letting you work your way out of it.. how does that show him faith…

        Im calmer now.. so I can rationalize a little better…. :)

      • texnat1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        There is no requirement that a team have a guy that is designated to pitch the entire 8th inning regardless of matchups. They should simply move away from that for a week or so and see where they are. They can always move back.

        It doesn’t even have to be a demotion. You have a new manager and he isn’t obligated to hand the 8th inning to a single pitcher.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        DP, so you can’t put an exact timetable on it? You won’t even hazard an opinion about how long is too long? Not even 5 more bad outings? 10? You’ll know it when you see it, eh? Or is it, you’ll know it when MW does it because that will be the right decision. If that’s where you are, then that’s just as “kneejerk” a position as those you criticize.

        I’m not basing my view on 6 innings, I’m basing it on 11 appearances. That’s somewhere between 1/7 and 1/6 of his likely total appearances this year. In my opinion, that’s plenty to know that something’s not working and he needs a change, that the team can’t survive keeping him where he is.

        You realize that if MW waits until July he could have 30 or more appearances by then. At this rate, the Nats would have lost 15 winnable games because of his failures. You’d NEVER put up with that in a closer, why would you put up with it in a setup guy? Even MW isn’t going to do that, regardless of Clip’s track record. But maybe there’s an argument for giving him a few more chances. Since you’re not willing to specify how many, I think that disqualifies you from making that argument. Maybe unkyd will have some thoughts on that.

      • unkyd59 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        What a long sub thread! But an intriguing question, to be sure… Deuces, I’m ok with making some adjustments, now. Perhaps MW sits Drew and Clip down, and let’s them know that they’ll be splitting the 8th inning hold opps for awhile, maybe even get Clipp a couple of two inning chances, to work on whatever needs work. They’re still best friends, right? And and it can be sold as “helping” Tyler to get past this… Give Storen the higher pressure situations for awhile. I just font wanna see him being told that he needs to get his s**t together, if he ever wants to see the 8th again, and hold Syracuse over his head… But I’d prolly give him 2-3 more chances before I even went there….

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Thanks for getting in the arena unkyd. That’s a completely reasonable position. I think Clip will be able to handle whatever MW does. He’s a pro, and he more than anyone has to know he’s not pitching well right now. I’m not sure, but I think they may need Clip’s consent to send him to Syracuse at this point. Doesn’t he have five years of MLB service time by now?

  32. stoatva - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    It’s a weird thing when a baseball team sits a regular or changes his role. For the manager the risk that the replacement will succeed is almost as great as the risk he will fail.

  33. veejh - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Has Clipp even had an outing this season where he didnt give up a run? I cannot remember one.

    • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Yes. 4/2, 4/6, 4/8, 4/15, 4/16. All scorelss (not just earned runs).

      • veejh - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        My poor brain.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        But your comment is perfect, because it illustrates what people remember and what they forget.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        I would be interested to know about the high stress in all of those games…

        I know 4/2 wasn’t high stress… we beat the Mets that day 5 -1…

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        4/15 was the blowout by the Fish…

        Let me look at the rest…

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Several were not “high stress,” which makes me think he may need a few outings in low-stress situations to get his groove back. Also makes me think there is nothing physically wrong…

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:02 PM

        I got ya NL… I was just sitting here wondering… But we are in agreement… I don’t like the pitchers ‘owning’ innings… I think it should depend on match-ups etc…

        But I was just wondering…

        As I said earlier, for his sake, our sake etc., I hope whatever ‘it’ is that is wrong (lack of better word right there) that its figured out soon.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Actually, he didn’t give up a run on 4/18 either… because it took him 26 pitches to get one out and MW pulled him for Storen. So that’s 6 failed outings and 5 successes. I remember the successes just fine thank you. But 5 out of 11 is not good enough for a setup guy on a pennant contender. It’s just not. Time for a change.

  34. Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Just win tonight… please… put us all out of misery… we will forget this game (to an extent) with the next win…

    I mean how many of us remember that 8 – 0 loss to the Cards… I know I don’t … :)

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      MrsB, if Rendon doesn’t think it’s a strike it probably isn’t. Richards missed the target by a large margin but it hit the upper inside corner and surprised me too.

      Email: Suicide (underscore) Squeeze@outlook dot com

      • laddieblahblah - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        Surprises me, too, but I’ll take your word for it.

  35. jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Mrsb.

    If we win tonight but lose tomorrow the tone of the fans will be exactly the same as it is now, We live and die day by day but that’s baseball. The decision makers don’t have the right to be fans and start reacting irrationally.

    As I said earlier, as long as we don’t hit more we are likely to hover around .500, winning some of the close ones like Friday and Sunday and losing some like Saturday and Monday. If you are a better team than the opposition you need to pummel them once in a while and that is the margin you will have over .500.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      The word fan didn’t come from fanatic for nothing… we go by the wins and go by the losses… I just want to win.

    • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      Hovering around .500 until the reinforcements come isn’t the worst thing in the world. I suspect we finish April at something like 15-13 (which is a touch better than last year’s 13-14 in April). 16-12 would be great, but it’d take winning 5 of the next 8 games. Doable.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      +1, again. Right now — still very early in the season; too early to start drawing broad conclusions — the Nats are outperforming that Pythagorean record by one win. They’re scoring some runs, sure, but they’re missing both Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos. And the pitching and defense has been, to put it mildly, inconsistent. Last night’s game was frustrating — and exhibited elements of all three of the Nats’ current issues — but it wasn’t any sort of definitive statement about the team or any individual players. I’m not saying they’re going to win the World Series, but I’m certainly not ready to write off the season or trade away some the team’s best players (the way some posters are). In one of the courses I teach we talk about the different time horizons that various political actors have (e.g., politicians = the next election, diplomats = something approaching infinity). Unless I’m missing something, I still see 142 games left in the season.

    • laddieblahblah - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      The team that is winning the 1-run games is the Braves. That is the difference between the 1st and 2nd place teams in the NL East. The Braves do not usually blow people out. We lost a 1-run lead in the 8th yesterday, and ended up losing the game. They lost a 1-run lead in the ninth, and ended up winning the game – by 1 run.

      Those games are won at the margins. The blowouts are not. You can make some fundamental mistakes and still win the blowouts, but you are more likely to lose those 1-run games if your team does not play fundamentally sound baseball.

      It’s not that complicated. Matt understands that, and so do his players.

      • NatsLady - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Atlanta’s starters have been off the charts. The reason they have one-run games to win is they have NO offense If the starters come back to earth (and if Kimbrel is hurt), they won’t be winning one-run games because they won’t be IN one-run games.

  36. npb99 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Some of you seem to think the Nats just need to hang on until various savior come off the injured list. But remember 2012? We had lots of injuries then too. The difference was that the replacement players performed better. Whoever is on the field needs to perform, period.

    • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      2012 was unique in that our entire starting rotation stayed healthy. I’m convinced we win at least 1 more gamesthan we have so far if Fister is pitching. The offense was pretty awful that year until everyone got healthy. Remember everyone wanted Eckstein fired until that trip into Colorado. Our starting pitching was just out-of-this-world, but it’s unreasonable to expect them to duplicate that. As the pitching faded mid-way through the year (and it was still great, just not historic), we got healthy and the bats came alive.

  37. Another Tyler - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Ramos is ahead of schedule, according to Kolko. Hope so! I liked Lobaton yesterday, though. Maybe shouldn’t try to run so far…

  38. jd - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    I think Lobaton will be a really good backup once Ramos returns. Also, when Zim returns there is no reason not to rest Desi here and there with Espi playing short. I just wouldn’t sit Desi for Walters or Frandsen as has been suggested.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      +1

    • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      I agree with this. There’s a reason I’ve focused my ire on Clip today, not Desi. Clip can be replaced by Storen, Barrett, or even Det for the 8th inning. But who’s going to play short if you sit Desi for anything other than a day of rest? Walters? No. Espi? Ok, fine, but who plays second? Walters? No. Frandson? No. Even at his less than optimum performance so far this year, Desi is a better hitter and fielder than either of them.

      • Mrsb loves the Nats - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        I am not sold on Walters D quiet yet. And to be honest, I don’t think rest is going to help Desi… I do wonder (and no I am not making excuses since he always seems to start the year off a little funky) if the quitting the tobacco had a play on his focus… Im not a smoker but I do know that when chewing/doing tobacco makes you crazy focused… and if Desi is going thru withdrawls, that COULD lead to some of his issues, maybe…

        But I don’t think that hit by Pujols was as easy as it may seem. I know Desi will never offer excuses but it just hit the mound funny and Desi may have had time but he never seemed to glove it cleanly… like the ball was moving on its own…

        Clip’s outing just could have been avoided… After Pujols got on… he didn’t look over at him 1 time. how embarrassing that you let Pujols steal on you like that… then you K stewart (but a runner is in scoring position here, ugh) and then you give the single to Kendrick, and a single to Aybar (on what was a horrible, horrible pitch) and then he WALKS THE 8 HITTER… ON 5 PITCHES….

        I mean this could have been avoided… especially given Clip’s outtings this year. I think MW managed it wrong, im sorry I do. Det should have been in there, I thought.. from the beginning… okay fine, at least when bases are loaded…

        sigh — please just win today

    • Sonny G 10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      +1

  39. Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    We should temper expectations for Ramos this year. Even if he comes back soon he probably won’t have the power he had before the injury for quite some time.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      True 222. Hopefully with regular days off he can strengthen up quicker. He’s not a wristy hitter and should bounceback quicker.

    • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      The hamate bone injury is interesting because it’s fairly unpredictable. The loss of power is notorious, but it’s far from universal. For instance:

      “Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki missed nearly six weeks of action after breaking the hamate bone in his left wrist in June of 2010. He came back and had 18 home runs and 61 RBIs in 235 at-bats after the injury that season after totaling 9 homers and 34 RBIs in 235 at-bats before the injury.

      San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval missed almost seven weeks after surgery to remove a fractured hamate bone from his right hand last season. He had 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 343 at-bats after returning.”

      Knowing Ramos luck, the power will take a long time to come back though.

      • Section 222 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        This is the problem with quoting random articles you find in a quick Google search. Sandoval broke his hamate bone in 2012. He had 12 HRs after he returned. In 2013, he had 14 HRs. Not a good example for optimism over our Buffalo.

      • David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Actually, this was referring to 2011. He then actually broke his other hamate bone in 2012. He’s had some bad luck too it appears.

  40. secretwasianman - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    News flash. Pitching coach Steve McCatty to manage team tonight. MW still recovering from last night brain cramps.

  41. veejh - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Need Jordan to step up tonight after that debacle yesterday.

  42. David Proctor - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Barrett back up, Cedeno back down, per Nats twitter.

  43. micksback1 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    I do not think posting that Desi needs to sit 1 or 2 games is a knee jerk reaction, after 8 errors in 22 days and batting 230. I don’t believe I posted he should be benched indefinitely or traded. Sitting a few games may be good for him in my view

    Now clip is a different story. He clearly has issues and he has cost the nats almost half their losses so far. He needs to either rest or work his issues out in the minors the way Storen did, unless there is something that prohibits him contract wise from being moved down

Archives

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

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.

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