ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Nationals entered Monday knowing they’d have a short bullpen with Drew Storen away from the team to attend his grandmother’s funeral. It got even shorter when Tyler Clippard told pitching coach Steve McCatty before the game that his arm was feeling tired.
Clippard got the day off Monday and Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he may well give him Tuesday off as well. Clippard has already appeared in 36 games this season and thrown 45 innings, the second most among relievers in the National League who’d appeared in 30 or more games.
“I think his arm’s a little tired,” Johnson said. “He played catch in the outfield before the game and he told McCatty that he needed a day off. I might even give him a day off tomorrow even though we’re a little short because he’s too valuable for me to be messing around with.”
Clippard was one of the most-used pitchers in the National League last year, going by appearances, and threw 91 innings — the second-most of any NL reliever. He’d also pitched in four of the Nationals last five games, especially being forced into action in the 14-inning game Friday night after back-to-back appearances.
“I wasn’t sore I was just a little tired,” Clippard said. “Normal stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just needed a day.”
Knowing the situation in the Nationals bullpen with Storen missing, Clippard considered not speaking up about the way his arm felt but McCatty talked it out of him.
“Today was tough,” Clippard said. “They’re always telling me to be vocal and (McCatty) asked me, he was like, ‘Don’t not say anything,’ so I did want to suck it up but I had to tell him how I felt. I’m pretty honest with him and most of the time, I’m fine.”
Storen is expected to be back with the team in time for Tuesday’s game.