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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."

By Jorge Castillo  |  July 11, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  Tyler Clippard  
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Comments

"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."

Which was really a sign of the problem. A lot of those wins were the result of blowing an inherited lead and getting credit when the rest of the team scored again in the next half inning. He wasn't pitching that much better earlier in the season, but his luck is evening out with a vengeance.

Posted by: zimbar | July 11, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Clippard is in a funk, but where's the manager in all this? Isn't the job of the manager to recognize that Clipp is going through a rough patch and use other relievers who can do the job? It appears to me that they have some pretty good choices in the bullpen. Push Clipp back to secondary relief pitching until he works it out.
Riggleman says he wants to send the message that the team is putting its best team out there when play resumes after the all-star break. Well, doesn't that apply to him as well in terms of making decisions that put the team in the best position to win? I fault Riggleman for committing mental errors in the dugout! He's going to lose the respect of his club if he continues the way he has.

Posted by: nulldev4u | July 11, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dibble seems to be the only one who has figured out what's wrong with Clippard.

Posted by: MKadyman | July 12, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

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