Matt Capps takes home April relief award
By this point last season, the Nationals bullpen could be fairly targeted as the primary reason behind their epically rancid start to the season. Through 25 games, Nationals reliever had blown eight saves in 11 chances. By this point, the Nationals had blown up half their opening day bullpen.
All of which makes Nationals closer Matt Capps's first month on the job even more important. Capps won the Major League Baseball Delivery Man Award, given each month to the pitcher deemed the most outstanding reliever by an MLB panel. In April, Capps converted all 10 save chances he had, posting a 0.68 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. (He lowered his ERA to 0.66 on Sunday in a one-out outing.) Capps has not allowed an earned run in eight consecutive innings.
Perhaps most remarkable, given the Nationals' relief situation this time last year, Capps was not a slam dunk as the best reliever on his own team, let alone the entire league. Tyler Clippard allowed one run in 18 innings, striking out 23 while yielding 16 hits and walks combined. The league hit .123 against him.
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