Against contenders, no changes in the Nationals bullpen
One of the most pleasant under-the-radar developments of the final stretch of the Nationals season is the success Collin Balester has had out of the bullpen. No, really -- in his last six appearances, a span of 8 1/3 innings, Balester has allowed no earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out 16.
Balester, in his new role, has been excellent lately, but he has yet to pitch in a vital point in the game. Now may be a good time for the Nationals to find out if he can withstand such pressure, if his recent strong performance is a sign he could become a key to their 2011 bullpen.
But with the Nationals' results having an impact on pennant races, Manager Jim Riggleman does not want to risk using anyone but his usual, reliable back of the bullpen. With Sean Burnett, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Joel Peralta handling key moments regularly, Riggleman does not want to deter at the risk of unfairly swinging a playoff race.
"If we've got a chance to win the game -- we're playing the Phillies -- I've got to use Burnett, Clippard, Storen," Riggleman said. "The opportunities for Balester, [Joe] Bisenius, is going to be more if the game is widespread or if we're playing a non-contending club.
"I really like what Burnett, Peralta, Clippard, Storen are doing. We're trying to win the game. That's my first priority."
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 17, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: faNATic | September 17, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DavidandDonald | September 17, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BinM | September 17, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nats24 | September 18, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: nats24 | September 18, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Spinman | September 18, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse