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Some Appreciation for Tyler Clippard

For the last few months, Washington's season has been as much about discoveries as results. Discovering young players, future pieces, etc. (Or, in some cases, discovering that certain young players aren't cut out for the job.) This is the way it always goes with losing teams; it's a time-honored tradition of more than a century. I submit, as evidence to this fact, a paragraph in the Washington Post on July 31, 1909, as the Senators were in the midst of a 110-loss season.

J. Ed Grillo wrote:

"By this time most every one knows what the old fellows can do. The fans have seen them in action for a couple of years, and there is no longer any doubt as to their ability. But it has been proved that the team with which [Manager Joe] Cantillon started the season is not strong enough to crawl out of last place, and, what is more, it seems cruel to work these old men during the present hot spell. If the team is to be built up, the remainder of the season should be utilized in experimenting with youngsters. They are just as capable of losing games as are the veterans. The team has been a failure, and nothing but a marvelous reversal of form would allow it to better its position a single notch... It is generally conceded that the Nationals need quite a batch of new players."

I am rambling. I know. Sorry. I know that added no value whatsoever.

Anyway, I meant to talk about Tyler Clippard. For all the debauched bullpen performance this year, the Nationals have found Clippard. Thursday night, he pitched another 2-2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Promoted from Syracuse on June 24, he has become the team's late inning workhorse. Check out the following numbers ...

* Clippard's 2.78 ERA is lowest on the team. And that's among 30 pitchers who've thrown a single pitch for the Nats this year. (Eek. Twenty-five have ERAs of 4.63 or higher.)

* Among pitchers who've appeared strictly in relief, Clippard (51-1/3 IP) leads the majors in innings pitched since the all-star break. The next-closest player, Houston's Jeff Fulchino, has thrown 40-2/3 innings.

* Since the all-star break, Clippard (58 Ks) also leads all relievers in strikeouts.

* Among all pitchers (starters and relievers) with at least 25 IP since the break, Clippard has allowed the fourth-lowest batting average (.159) in baseball. The figure is second-best in the National League.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 2, 2009; 11:18 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups From Turner Field

Comments

And such stylish glasses too!

Posted by: ramgut | October 2, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes! What's with those rec specs anyway? Not that I'm looking for Guzmanesque lazer surgery or anything. The glasses are clearly working for him.

Posted by: softballgirl | October 2, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Clippard, McDougal, and maybe, maybe Villone for next season. The rest gone.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | October 2, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Apology accepted.

The real questions are: Are you that bored that you're scanning 100 year old columns? Nothing on TV? Are you "researching" in the hotel lobby, at breakfast, or in your room?

Posted by: joemktg1 | October 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I like the glasses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6txLe2HKcIo&feature=related

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 2, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd keep Bergmann too. I still have hope for our last (right?) expo.

Posted by: softballgirl | October 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

text last night from my Braves fan brother:
"He looks like a dork but he pitches well."

My answer: "That's what we love about him. Dorky glasses, cockeyed knees and nerdy walk. Then he comes in and shuts em down."

Then buddy Amy says: "loved when he struck out McCann in the "battle of the goggles."

Posted by: NatsNut | October 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Love the old stuff. Obviously must keep Clippard and Mac but I say also Bergmann and Burnett.

Sign at least two strong relievers, preferably one left handed who can face lefties also. Presto - solid bullpen, probably gets us at least 10 more wins, maybe 15 - hell, maybe 20, the bullpen was out of this world horrible the first half.

Posted by: Avar | October 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Now we know where Chico gets his prose stylings. It'll be interesting to see if he can recycle the 1910 Post as easily next year.

Thanks, Chico - I love the old stuff too.

Posted by: utec | October 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

That is encouraging news regarding the bullpen which has been by far the worst aspect of the team this year. It's really going to be interesting to see what Rizzo does this off-season.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | October 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

another vote here for Bergmann and Burnett plus Clippard and MacDougal - I am really hoping we go after Lackey hard. Those numbers for Clippard are impressive but our bullpen might have been the worst of many bad parts in this season. The four I would like to have back were not here during the start of our long slow slide.

Posted by: sjm3091 | October 2, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Tyler deserves a shot at a rotation spot in the Spring. Hope he makes it.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 2, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chico I love that old clip.

Great find.

And a reminder that they used to play 'em all during the day, in flannel uniforms, too.

No wonder the games were shorter. No one wanted to stand out in the sun for more than 2 hours.

Posted by: Meridian1 | October 2, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If you look at Clippard's minor league career, it's obvious that he was born to be a relief pitcher. As a starter, through 2008, he was so-so, at best. Then they started using him as a reliever this year in Syracuse, and voila. In 24 appearances, all relief, ERA of 0.92, and WHIP of 0.897, 42/15 K/BB ratio in 39 IP.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=clippa001tyl

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 2, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In the prior post: "But Zimmerman is not older than Mock, he's a year and a half younger."

That was a good catch, Eclipse; I'd been surprised to learn that Mock was a lot younger than I thought but didn't bother looking it up.

Of course, the point I was making holds true: guys younger than Zimmerman have lots of developing to do. That point just doesn't apply to Garrettttt Mock. So him, you can roast, cut up, and toss out. Have at it.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 2, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

And gilbertbp, that's a nice find on Clippard. Not for the sake of arguing, but for the sake of argument, I'll observe that there are two obvious differences between his good numbers and his meh numbers:

1) Starting vs relieving (as you point out)
2) This year vs all other years

For all I know, it wasn't the move to the pen that unlocked his awesomeness; it was something else that coincided with that move.

Like the glasses.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 2, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

FYI:
Just heard Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio complaining about Washington getting a third shot at baseball. Says Washington has "butchered" it all three times.

If anything, Baseball has butchered Washington. I don't recall voting for the Lerners, or Bob Short, or Calvin.

No real news here, but still annoying.

Posted by: KenNat | October 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Scooter_ "I'll observe that there are two obvious differences between his good numbers and his meh numbers:

1) Starting vs relieving (as you point out)
2) This year vs all other years

For all I know, it wasn't the move to the pen that unlocked his awesomeness; it was something else that coincided with that move."
=====================================================
It could be that it's that phenomenon that Dibble has been harping on all year: He gets guys out by showing them his hard stuff and his breaking stuff and his off-speed stuff all in the first time through the lineup. Then he gets hit hard the second and third time through. A reliever doesn't worry about what's going to happen the second time through the lineup.

As far as the glasses goes, he's always had decent control.

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Clippard is Ryne Duren with control throws with some idea of where it's going.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 2, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Just heard Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio complaining about Washington getting a third shot at baseball. Says Washington has "butchered" it all three times."

The Senators/Nats of the 1920s and 1930s might have an argument against that statement. But unfortunately they're all dead now. Cowherd OTOH would be dead to me, exceptin' that I have no clue who the hell he is, nor do I want to find out.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 2, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Tyler Clippard is Ryne Duren with control throws with some idea of where it's going."

He needs to get scary Coke bottle bottom glasses like Duren had, not those goofy looking ones he has now.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 2, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, gilbert, that's certainly a possibility. Especially given such a night-and-day difference, it seems the more likely possibility. Just objecting, I guess, to saying it's "obvious"ly one thing and not another.

And as far as the glasses, I was thinking less about his control and more about being the coolest guy on the block.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Although FTEIEIO is right that thicker glasses would be even cooler.

Posted by: Scooter_ | October 2, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Cowherd just tries to instigate under the guys of "being brutally honest". Unfortunately I sometimes listen to the first 5 minutes as I'm pulling into work and his comments are mostly rather inane.

Being a Bama fan, I dislike him because of his Nick Saban rants when he was saying he wouldn't coach Bama and laughing at "Bama-nation" for thinking he would come there. When he did come, he railed on Saban for weeks, simply because he made him look bad.

Posted by: goexpos2 | October 2, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I would perfectly satisfied with Clippard, McDougal, Burnett, and twoe of the kids we have like Storen, Kensing, Garate, English, etc. to go with 2 FA.

Posted by: goexpos2 | October 2, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me but why should we care what a livestock wrangler thinks about baseball, anyway? What? Oh. Never mind.

---

FYI:
Just heard Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio complaining about Washington getting a third shot at baseball. Says Washington has "butchered" it all three times.

If anything, Baseball has butchered Washington. I don't recall voting for the Lerners, or Bob Short, or Calvin.

No real news here, but still annoying.

Posted by: KenNat | October 2, 2009 1:49 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 2, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The glasses aren't about being cool. They're about a guy throwing serious heat and looking like he's blind coming up onto the mound to scare the living sh*t out of the batter. The only thing better would be a flamethrower coming in from the bullpen with a white cane or a seeing-eye dog, but even Bill Veeck could never get away with a stunt like that.

You think relief pitchers grow outlandish facial hair because it's cool?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

> Cowherd just tries to instigate under the guys of "being brutally honest".

You telling me he's gay? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Think Riggleman would date him?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 2, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0OeqieLg8I

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

It has been looking like Clippard, Burnett from the left hand side, and then MacDougal ... after that I can't see Rizzo **NOT** bringing Storen up sooner rather than later. Looks like Garate needs some more seasoning ... I guess one can see why he got to make appearances as an interesting looking lefty.

Lots of competition in Spring training among what looks to be a nice cadre of young pitching hopefully mixed with 1 - 3 selected veterans?
Even with Strasburg, perhaps even because of Strasburg the competition should be fierce.

So, Chico's old-timey clip doesn't really fit this team? This team perhaps can be likened to the miracle Mets looking for that miracle combination. Be nice to play some of that old-timey music from "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" in expectation ...

With folks like cowherd, the "Damned Yankees" mentality, outlook, and perception continues. Meaning there is going to be a **HUGE** explosion when this team sallies forth from that mold.

And of course I want to be there when it happens ... with signs, placards anything to twist the dagger that seemingly came from nowhere more than a few times.

Posted by: periculum | October 2, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Scooter_ "Just objecting, I guess, to saying it's "obvious"ly one thing and not another."
======================================================
I realized after posting that I should have added, "in hindsight."

Posted by: gilbertbp | October 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"You think relief pitchers grow outlandish facial hair because it's cool?"

"Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome"

Relief pitchers have been known to do just about anything to distract and/or intimidate hitters. If growing facial hair, wearing strange glasses, strategically placed tattoos ...

Posted by: periculum | October 2, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I've still got my Tyler Clippard bobble-head they gave out at Trenton in '08 (he was a starter there in '07.) Lets hope he stays good enough to get one with the Nats, too.

Posted by: nats24 | October 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

For 20-10 bullpen holdovers it's Clippard and Burnett and the rest you forget.

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

To say that the New York Mets were mediocre would have been kind. They had, after all, been pretty darned lousy during their brief history. That all changed ...

Posted by: periculum | October 2, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Chico. I kind of like the old quote.

"It gives one a feeling of solidarity, almost of continuity with the past, that sort of thing."

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 2, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

ATTN: CHICO HARLAN

OLD NEWSPAPER CLIPS THAT CONNECT US TO WASHINGTON'S BALL HISTORY ARE GOOD. STOP. PLS ALSO INCLUDE ANY NEGRO LEAGUE ACCOUNTS. STOP. CONTINUE DOING GOOD JOB AND AS TO APOLOGIZING - JUST STOP. STOP. ERR. STOP.

I can't tell you how many times a day I'm thankful I don't live in the age of telegraph messages.

Posted by: Section506 | October 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"For 20-10 bullpen holdovers it's Clippard and Burnett and the rest you forget."

Bergmann is serviceable. We're now talking about replacing 4 out of 7 bullpen members, so no one accuse me of not being aggressive in rebuilding.

Posted by: Section506 | October 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The original Senators did NOT butcher it. They moved to Minnesota and morphed into the successful Twins franchise.

Senators second edition was pretty bad. They haven't succeeded as the Texas Rangers.

If it weren't for the memory of Senators 2 fans, we wouldn't have that atrocious curly W Walgreen's logo that doesn't match the typography of the word Nationals on the jersey. For them to match they have to look like this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_D-LlI9f-pQo/SRCfXX9F2vI/AAAAAAAAKUQ/tiFL1GUIV0Y/s320/1969_washington_senators_program_2.jpg

Posted by: poncedeleroy | October 2, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We tried to win with Milledge,Ledezma,Hinkley, Cabrera,Tavarez,Rivera,Hanrahan,and Shell.A Disaster!!Next year we'll probably go with Macdougal,Clippard,Bergman, Burnett,and our young starters of this year, plus a couple of proven FA starters and relievers.Willingham will not be on the bench.Morgan and Flores will be back.HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!! Come on 2010!Not to even mention the possibility of the emergence of Stasberg or Storen.THANK YOU MIKE RIZZO et al.

Posted by: ripndot | October 2, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

what's cool about Clippard's glasses is that they do look so dorky, but he doesn't give a crap.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

ATTN: NJ DENIZENS

I HEREBY NOMINATE THE ITEM BELOW FOR POST OF THE DAY HONORS. STOP. SERIOUSLY. STOP. NO OTHER NOMINEES WILL BE CONSIDERED.

---

ATTN: CHICO HARLAN

OLD NEWSPAPER CLIPS THAT CONNECT US TO WASHINGTON'S BALL HISTORY ARE GOOD. STOP. PLS ALSO INCLUDE ANY NEGRO LEAGUE ACCOUNTS. STOP. CONTINUE DOING GOOD JOB AND AS TO APOLOGIZING - JUST STOP. STOP. ERR. STOP.

I can't tell you how many times a day I'm thankful I don't live in the age of telegraph messages.

Posted by: Section506 | October 2, 2009 3:27 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Er, and there's a new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 2, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Clip is the Rhyne Duren of the present.

I wonder if he drinks like the old Rhino.

Posted by: jbartelloni | October 2, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I think EVERYONE in the bullpen must wear Clippard's glasses! Nats be stylin'!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | October 2, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"For 20-10 bullpen holdovers it's Clippard and Burnett and the rest you forget."


Yet another joke about vision and glasses???

Posted by: fischy | October 2, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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