Results tagged ‘ Tyler Clippard ’

Highlights: 8.20.13

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8.20.13 – Nationals 4, Cubs 2

Stat of the Game: The Nationals had a season-high 21 men reach base safely (14 hits, seven walks), one more than the 20 they accumulated in a 14-1 drubbing of the Mets on July 28.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard did not allow any base runners in the seventh and eighth innings, holding onto the Nats slim 2-1 lead.

It Was Over When: Denard Span, a late-game defensive replacement, ripped a two-out, RBI single in the top of the ninth to give Washington a 4-1 advantage.

What to Watch for: Rat Pack Night

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Atlanta Braves (69-45) vs. Washington Nationals (54-59)

RHP Kris Medlen (8-10, 3.85) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (13-6, 3.06)

As music has become an increasingly popular element of baseball – from the pregame play list during batting practice to the players’ walk up songs – we have decided to incorporate different musical themes throughout the season. Motown Monday made its debut earlier this year, and tonight the Nationals will be celebrating the music of the Frank, Dean and Sammy. That’s right, it’s Rat Pack Night in The District. Check out which Rat Pack classics your favorites players will be walking out to tonight:

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Denard Span, CF: Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra

2. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B: Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra

3. Bryce Harper, LF: Luck Be a Lady by Frank Sinatra

4. Jayson Werth, RF: My Way by Frank Sinatra

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B: I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra

6. Ian Desmond, SS: The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra

7. Anthony Rendon, 2B: Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra

8. Wilson Ramos, C: Mambo Italiano by Dean Martin

9. Jordan Zimmermann, RHP: Ain’t That a Kick in the Head by Dean Martin

THE BENCH:

Roger Bernadina: Send Me the Pillow You Dream On by Dean Martin

Scott Hairston: That Old Luck Sun by Dean Martin

Steve Lombardozzi: Back In Your Own Backyard by Sammy Davis Jr.

Chad Tracy: They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Frank Sinatra

Kurt Suzuki: In the Misty Moonlight by Dean Martin

THE BULLPEN:

Fernando Abad: Sway by Dean Martin

Tyler Clippard: That’s Life by Frank Sinatra

Ian Krol: Chicago, My Kind of Town by Frank Sinatra

Ryan Mattheus: When The Feeling Hits You by Sammy Davis Jr.

Tanner Roark: I Should Care by Sammy Davis Jr.

Rafael Soriano: Dancing in the Dark by Frank Sinatra

Craig Stammen: Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra

SERIES-LY SPEAKING

Nine of the 12 games between the Nationals and Braves in 2013 have been decided by two runs or less. In 2012, the Nationals (98-64) claimed their first NL East flag over the 94-win Braves and finished ahead of Atlanta in the NL East standings for the first time since 1994. Washington is 3-1-1 in season series play against the Braves dating to 2008.

CLIP AND SAVE

On June 25, 2009 vs. Boston, Tyler Clippard made his MLB debut as a reliever and struck out a pair in 2.0 innings of work. Since his debut, Clippard leads the majors in relief strikeouts with 420:

1. Tyler Clippard (Washington) 420

2. Carlos Marmol (CHI – LAD) 396

3. Jonathan Papelbon (BOS – PHI) 373

TOPPS FOR JULY

Nationals Minor League outfielder Billy Burns, recently promoted to Double-A Harrisburg, was named the Carolina League’s Topps Player of the Month for July. Over the course of 24 contests in July, Burns hit .359 with eight walks, six hit-by-pitches, five doubles, three triples, 16 runs scored, 10 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Burns logged an on-base percentage of .443 and a slugging percentage of .478, compiling a .922 OPS. Originally selected in the 32nd round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Burns departed the Carolina League as the circuit leader in stolen bases (51), OBP (.417), and triples (9).

What to Watch for: 8.4.13

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Washington Nationals (54-56) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (46-64)

RHP Taylor Jordan (1-3, 3.31) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (7-7, 3.22) 

The Nationals snapped the Milwaukee’s string of 86 games without being shutout (the longest such stretch in the Major Leagues) with a 3-0 victory Saturday night. The win also gave Washington a 4-2 record against the Brewers so far in 2013 which, combined with a 5-3 mark in 2012, means the Nationals have won consecutive season series at the Brew Crew’s expense for the first time in Nationals history (‘05-present). Taylor Jordan takes the hill in Sunday’s finale looking to guide the Nationals to their first road sweep of the season.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Harper LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Lombardozzi 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Jordan RHP

DAN THE MAN

Dan Haren turned in seven scoreless frames of four-hit ball to earn his second consecutive victory. In the five starts since his return from the disabled list on July 8, the right-hander has a 2.70 ERA (8 ER/30.0 IP) with just eight walks against 32 strikeouts and a .206 opponents batting average.

JOINING THE CLUB

Adam LaRoche hit his 15th home run of the season, making him the fourth Nationals player to reach the plateau so far this year (Desmond 16, Harper 16, Werth 15). Only two other teams in the National League (Atlanta, Colorado) have four players with 15 or more roundtrippers, while three teams (Miami, San Diego, San Francisco) do not have a single player with at least 15 on the season.

CLIPP N’ SAVE

Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano combined on a scoreless eighth and ninth inning Saturday, leading to Soriano’s 28th save in 32 opportunities this year. Clippard, meanwhile, has not blown a lead all season, and is 3-0 with 11 holds, a 0.70 ERA (2 ER/25.2 IP), a .107 opponents average and 27 strikeouts since the beginning of June.

Highlights: 8.3.13

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8.3.13 – Nationals 3, Brewers 0

Stat of the Game: Dan Haren delivered his second straight sparkling start, shutting out the Brewers over seven innings to earn the win.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Adam LaRoche became the fourth Nationals player with 15 or more home runs this season, using Jayson Werth‘s bat to drive an opposite-field blast.

It Was Over When: Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano retired all six batters they faced to close the door.

What to Watch for: 7.28.13

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New York Mets (46-55) vs. Washington Nationals (51-54)

RHP Carlos Torres (1-1, 0.94) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-3, 3.68)

Fear the goggles.

Tyler Clippard works in what can sometimes be a thankless role, almost always pitching the seventh or eighth inning in close ballgames. Occasionally, when the game is tied or if the Nationals are trailing, that puts him in a position to pick up a win; after all, he’s got six of them this year. But usually, the only time he ends up in the spotlight is if the other team scores a run. That hasn’t happened much lately, which is why Clippard’s tremendous season is largely flying under the radar.

His overall numbers speak for themselves: a 6-1 record, 1.74 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched. But those marks have gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Since June 1, he’s allowed only one run in 23.2 innings, holding opponents to a .108 batting average. And in his last 15 appearances since June 26, Clippard has allowed just two hits and four walks over 15 scoreless frames, striking out 17.

Simply put, it’s hard to pitch any better than Clippard has the past two months. For the season, he’s picked up 19 holds and has not been dealt a single blown save all year. Every time Davey Johnson has handed Clippard the ball with a lead of three runs or less, he has handed it back with the lead intact.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Harper LF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Span CF

8. Ramos C

9. Jordan RHP

DAN THE MAN

Dan Haren earned his fifth win – his first in 12 starts, or since May 9 vs. Detroit – by allowing just one run on three singles and a walk in 7.0 strong innings, striking out six. In four starts since his return from the disabled list, Haren owns a 3.13 ERA (8 ER/23.0 IP) and 26 strikeouts against just six walks.

POWER SURGE

Ian Desmond hit his team-leading 16th, Bryce Harper notched his 15th and Denard Span got on the board with his first home run of the season. Desmond and Span went back-to-back, marking the seventh time this season that Nationals players have homered in consecutive at-bats. Washington has hit 12 home runs in its last eight games at Nationals Park, representing its largest eight-game power output in The District this season.

THE SERIES

The Nationals have won the past two season series from the Mets, going 14-4 last season and 10-8 in 2011. Washington currently holds a 6-5 margin in this year’s matchup, including a 3-2 mark at Nationals Park.

Highlights: 7.23.13

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7.23.13 – Pirates 5, Nationals 1

Stat of the Game: Tyler Clippard continued his dominant stretch with two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and has allowed just one hit over his last 12 appearances (12.0 IP), striking out 15.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Rookie Taylor Jordan delivered another solid start, tossing a career-long 7.2 innings.

It Was Over When: The Pirates added a pair of runs in the eighth inning to stretch the margin to four runs.

The Second “Half”

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There has been plenty written about the Nationals the past few days and what it will take for them to play in October this season.

We’ll leave the “to reach x wins, they need to go xx-xx the rest of the way” predictions to others. As Davey Johnson and his troops have expressed over recent weeks, what the team needs to do is play at the level its capable of with more consistency. It doesn’t really matter how many games are left, or against whom. We all know this team is capable – when they are playing their best – of beating anyone.

Davey Johnson is looking for more consistency from his club in the second half.

Davey Johnson is looking for more consistency from his club in the second half.

They’ll get their first test immediately out of the All-Star break. The suddenly hot Los Angeles Dodgers come to town to open an 11-game, 10-day homestand, during which they will throw recently acquired Nationals nemesis Ricky Nolasco, along with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Things don’t get easier from there, as the contending Pittsburgh Pirates visit for four games beginning next week. The homestand concludes with a Matt Harvey-headlined doubleheader followed by a pair of weekend games against the scrappy New York Mets.

Of course, the Nationals will counter with arguable the healthiest team they’ve fielded since the first week of the season. With the lineup at full strength, the only pieces missing are Ross Detwiler and Ryan Mattheus, both expected back off the disabled list soon. Washington will also be throwing Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann in the three Dodgers games, putting its own best pitching foot forward. Dan Haren, who has a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) and 14 strikeouts in his two outings since his own return from the DL may be starting to show signs of being the solid veteran pickup that Mike Rizzo and company were hoping for when they signed him last offseason. With Taylor Jordan solidly holding down the fort at the back of the rotation in the meantime, the starting staff looks poised to lead the way.

Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano has closed out 25 of 29 save opportunities with a 2.25 ERA on the season. Tyler Clippard has been one of the best relievers in the game, winning six games out of the ‘pen while posting better than a strikeout per inning and a sub-2.00 ERA. Ian Krol and Fernando Abad have given Washington two lefty relievers they did not have at the beginning of the year, both joining Clippard in the sub-2.00 club thus far. Factor in some solid contributions out of the long-man spot by Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.74 ERA) and the bullpen looks as solid as it has all year.

It’s taken a few months for all these pieces to come together and be on the field at the same time. But with a fully rested and healthy squad coming back from the All-Star break, these Nationals look as well constructed as they have been all year to finally put together the extended run that has thus far eluded them, the one they all know they will need to bring October NATITUDE back to The District.

Highlights: 7.13.13

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7.13.13 – Marlins 2, Nationals 1 (10 innings)

Stat of the Game: Dan Haren turned in one of his sharpest performances of the seasons, shutting out the Marlins on three hits and a walk over six innings, striking out seven.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Tyler Clippard turned in his eighth straight scoreless outing, over which he’s allowed a single hit and three walks with eight strikeouts.

It Was Over When: Ed Lucas beat out the back end of a potential inning-ending double play ball with the bases loaded to give the Marlins a 2-1 victory.

Highlights: 7.5.13

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7.5.13 – Nationals 8, Padres 5

Stat of the Game: Jayson Werth led the offense with his second straight three-hit game as Washington posted a second consecutive 8-5 victory.

Under-the-Radar Performance: Gio Gonzalez settled down from a shaky start to earn his third straight win.

It Was Over When: Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano retired all six batters they faced to close out the victory.

Your #VoteNats Tweet-up Rundown

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Many of you have asked us about the #VoteNats Tweet-up over the last couple of weeks. What is it? Why should I buy tickets? How could Justin Upton possibly be leading Bryce Harper in the All-Star voting?

We’ve done our best to answer your questions here, but now the time has arrived to unveil the schedule for the event itself, along with all the prizes and special guests who will be on hand. So with no further ado, here we go:

3:30 p.m.: Gates Open

You’ll want to arrive early, as the first 45 fans to come through the gates and check in behind section 140 will receive either a NATITUDE or @nationals T-shirt. Plus, three of those lucky fans (along with a +1) will be chosen to take part in a Meet & Greet with Nationals players on the field (weather permitting).

While you get checked in and meet your fellow Nationals tweeps, take a few minutes to vote online on our iPads for your Nationals to go to the 2013 All-Star Game. One random winner who votes the maximum 35 times and tweets a photo will win an Adam LaRoche signed bat!

5:00 p.m.: Twitter Q&A featuring Tyler Clippard, Julie Alexandria, Dave Jageler and F.P. Santangelo

The center of attention will shift to our distinguished panel, which will discuss Twitter and baseball and answer your questions. We’ll have more great prizes as we talk Twitter and Nationals baseball with those right in the middle of the action.

In-game Prizes

Once first pitch has been thrown at 6:05 p.m., stay tuned to Twitter throughout the game for your chance to win great prizes, including autographed memorabilia, PNC Diamond Lounge seats and even a visit from a Racing President!

See you tonight…

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