Struggling Clippard hits a "roadblock"
Tyler Clippard, who chose not to speak to the media after allowing four runs in one third of an inning Saturday night, spoke to media Sunday morning and addressed his recent struggles.
Clippard has allowed 11 runs over his last six innings, and he and Manager Jim Riggleman continue to emphasize there is nothing wrong physically. For Clippard, it's just a mental matter.
"I've kind of hit a roadblock these last couple weeks. It's more of a kind of mental wall in the sense of getting through it," Clippard said. "Everything seems to be in order - my mechanics are there. It's just a matter of trying to get my head on straight, throwing everything with conviction and believing in what I'm capable of doing."
Clippard has actually been throwing the ball harder as of late, but that's not a good thing for him. He's been leaving pitches up and those couple extra miles-per-hour have straightened out his fastball, making it easier to pick up for hitters.
"For me, the type of pitcher that I am, my best stuff isn't necessarily 97 [MPH], whatever the case is," he said. "I've always been a guy who kind of needs to pitch - I'm a pitcher not a thrower. I need to work down in the zone."
The latest stretch has been doubly frustrating for the reliever after his torrid start, which at one point had him leading the major leagues in wins.
"I feel like I'm one of the better arms in the league," he said. "I think I showed glimpses of that early on but it's most frustrating because this team needs me, I feel like. I've been letting the team down and that's the biggest weight on my shoulders."
July 11, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories: Tyler Clippard
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