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Tyler Clippard, and the Nationals bullpen, win again

Morning brushback

For the second consecutive night, Tyler Clippard won. He felt sheepish about this one. When he entered in the seventh, the Nationals led 2-1. When he left, they trailed, 3-2. But Danny Espinosa clobbered a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, and Joel Peralta and Sean Burnett slammed the door, and, yup, Clippard got another win.

He has 11 now, which leads the Nationals; Clippard has 17.2 percent of the Nationals' 64 wins this season. Livan Hernandez is second with 10. "We'll bet on the golf course," Clippard said about any kind of contest. "Not on baseball."

After Clippard's latest victory, the Nationals' all-time single-season win leaders look like this:

1. Livan Hernandez, 15 (2005)
2. Esteban Loaiza, 12 (2005)
3(t). Ramon Ortiz, 11 (2006)
3(t). Tyler Clippard, 11 (2010)
5(t). Livan Hernandez, 10 (2010)
5(t). Tim Redding, 10 (2008)

Clippard's latest vultured win was kind of fluky, but what happened once he left was not. With the lead in the eighth, Manager Jim Riggleman turned to Joel Peralta, who has quietly been one of Mike Rizzo's best offseason moves. Last night, Peralta retired all four batters he faced and struck out three of them. He has not allowed an earned run in 11 innings, lowering his ERA to an even two for the season.

Once Peralta did his job, Burnett entered for the last two outs. He promptly allowed a single, but then immediately induced a game-ending double play by Jason Bourgeois. Just like Peralta, Burnett has not allowed any runs in his last 11 innings. His ERA for the year is down to 2.37, and he entered last night with a team-best 169 ERA+.

Clippard earned the win, but last night and for the second half of this season, Peralta and Burnett have been two of the Nationals most valuable pitchers.

Not used last night was Drew Storen. He had pitched the night before, recording two outs in the ninth before Jim Riggleman pulled him for Burnett. Storen had also thrown a bullpen session with pitching coach Steve McCatty to work on some things before the game, and the Nationals did not want to overwork him.

"If there's a big situation tomorrow," Riggleman said, "he'll be ready for that."

The Nationals will have plenty of other capable arms in their bullpen, too.

FROM THE POST

A big one from Boz today: He writes Stan Kasten may or may not return to the Nationals next season, and the decision will greatly affect the team's future.

Danny Espinosa busted out of his slump to lift the Nationals to a 4-3 victory over the Astros, backing up a strong start by Jason Marquis.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Danny Espinosa never worried about his slump, Mark Zuckerman says.

The Nationals' bullpen depth was a key last night, Ben Goessling writes.

Jon Bois collected a comprehensive list of things Bryce Harper likes.

The Matt Capps-Wilson Ramos trade is looking good for both sides, Brian McNally writes.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 23, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brushback  
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Next: Adam Dunn out of the Nationals lineup

Comments

Adam, once again I thank you for the frequent, informative posts you do above and beyond, as they say.

"and the decision (on Kasten's future) will greatly affect the team's future."

Put me down as one who cannot wait for Stan to leave town. Can't happen soon enough.

Not everyone thinks Ramos is the real thing and I've read a comment by an ESPN type who thinks he's overrated. We'll see, I guess.

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 23, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Has a reliever ever led a team in wins (only counting wins in relief)? I would assume this would only happen on bad teams, but am curious if Tyler has a chance for doing something no one has done before.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | September 23, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet this has happened lots of times. Jon Rauch led the Nats in wins in 2007 (8). Elroy Face won 18 in relief for the '59 Pirates (the record, I think), and tied for the team lead.

----
Has a reliever ever led a team in wins (only counting wins in relief)? I would assume this would only happen on bad teams, but am curious if Tyler has a chance for doing something no one has done before.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | September 23, 2010 8:16 AM

Posted by: chiefwj | September 23, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

In baseball one never knows if someone is the "real deal", until they prove it in a regular MLB season. One may say that Ramos is a very plausable replacement for Nieves and that is good enough for me.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | September 23, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Heckle_and_Jeckle.png

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If we could get anything of MLB value for Capps we should have taken it; this team needs a closer like a bald man needs a comb. When it gets to the point that this team is actually playing meaningful games a proper closer will be here.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 23, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

This is why W-L is a lousy way to evaluate relievers - most of Clippard's wins this year have been the result of failing to hold an inherited lead but finishing the inning and having the offense pick him up in the next at bat. The "wins" were actually bad outings from him followed by good work by the rest of the team.

Posted by: zimbar | September 23, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

In other news, if you're going to the game today, don't forget that Figueroa *really* likes it when you cheer like a bunch of softball girls. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

3(t). Ramon Ortiz, 11 (2006)
3(t). Tyler Clippard, 11 (2010)
5(t). Livan Hernandez, 10 (2010)
5(t). Tim Redding, 10 (2008)

How on earth do the Lerners sleep at night?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

How on earth do the Lerners sleep at night?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 10:31 AM

Like McBain, on a bed piled with money and beautiful women

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 23, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

How on earth do the Lerners sleep at night?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 10:31 AM

Like McBain, on a bed piled with money and beautiful women

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 23, 2010 10:37 AM

McBain: I'm thinking about holding another meeting - in bed.

Posted by: frenchyb | September 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think Boz should have cited me after this line... :-)

"24th-best record, 23rd in attendance, 22nd in payroll"

And it's actually 24, 23, 23.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Just for kicks, I compiled the Orioles' list of single season win leaders since 2005:

1st) Rodrigo Lopez (?) 15, 2005
1st-tie) Erik Bedard, 15, 2006
2) Bruce Chen (?), 13 2005
2T) Erik Bedard, 13, 2007
3) Kris Benson (?), 11, 2006
4) Daniel Cabrera (???), 10, 2005
4T) Jeremy Guthrie, 10, 2008, 2009, 2010

So there's at least one other owner who should have troubling sleeping at night.

Posted by: baltova1 | September 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

3(t). Ramon Ortiz, 11 (2006)
3(t). Tyler Clippard, 11 (2010)
5(t). Livan Hernandez, 10 (2010)
5(t). Tim Redding, 10 (2008)

How on earth do the Lerners sleep at night?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 10:31 AM
________________________________

Probably on matresses and pillows stuffed with 100 Dollar Bills...

Posted by: TimDz | September 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten leaving? When and where can i help him pack his stuff so he can hurry up and leave,can't happen soon enough for me i've had no use for him since he treated Frank Robinson so shabbily,as far as i'm concerned they should appoint Robinson in his place.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I would love for Kasten to stay just one more year, but if his family wants him back home in Atlanta, I totally understand.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 23, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

This morning's Boswell column reminded me of nothing more than his January 2008 column in which he daclared himself a Gibbsologist and absolutely guaranteed that ol' Joe would be coming back to coach the fifth year of his contract. I'm quite confident that Boswell's armchair psychological analysis of Kasten will turn out to be every bit as prescient as his analysis of Gibbs was.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I would like to offer up my services to drive StanK to the airport.

That sorry Dude can't get out of this town fast enough for me.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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