Bullpen implodes in 11-3 loss

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Plenty of spots you can identify as turning points in the Nationals’ 11-3 loss to the Red Sox — a game that was 3-3 when John Lannan left in the seventh.

But the big one is a recurring theme: the bullpen.

Julian Tavarez, Ron Villone, Kip Wells and Jesus Colome combined to give up seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings as the Red Sox broke the game open. Joel Hanrahan gave up another run in the ninth. He, Wells and Colome all have ERAs over 6.48, and after the game, manager Manny Acta hinted more changes might be coming.

“Somebody has to step up out of those three guys (Hanrahan, Wells and Colome), because I can’t pitch the same four guys out of the pen every single day, whether I’m trailing or ahead,” Acta said.

The most obvious move would be calling up Tyler Clippard, who was on the verge of being promoted when Colome injured his right quadriceps muscle last weekend. He has a 4-1 record, 0.92 ERA, and has 42 strikeouts in 39 innings. Jason Bergmann has also posted two shutout appearances since being optioned to Class AAA Syracuse after the Tampa series, though I can’t see him being brought back so quick. Jorge Sosa could also be an option.

No move was made tonight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one tomorrow.

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