- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Nats’ pitching woes show up early and late in 11-inning loss to Reds
Question of the Day
Shadows crept toward Tyler Clippard until finally, a few minutes after 5 p.m., they covered the Washington Nationals’ right-hander.
Innings drifted away like Sunday’s sun until Clippard was left on the darkened mound at Nationals Park staring at Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto in the 11th. Clippard, the All-Star setup man, wanted his four-seam fastball to go down and away. Instead, the 2-0 pitch floated over the middle of the plate.
“I just didn’t have it,” Clippard said. A series of miscues in and out of the Nationals’ control set up Clippard’s errant fastball to end the series on a forgettable note. Clippard had trouble getting loose before Saturday’s game and manager Davey Johnson didn’t want to use him Sunday. Shoulder discomfort bothers Clippard each spring and, according to Johnson, flared again.
“This has lingered a little longer,” Johnson said.
But Clippard insisted his arm is fine, the discomfort was nothing outside the ordinary pattern of his career and he felt “really good.” He didn’t struggle to warm up. And Clippard’s fastball touched its usual 94 mph. The problem, he believed, was pitch selection and, of course, the heave to Votto.
Votto, who inked a 10-year, $225 million extension with the Reds earlier this month, was intentionally walked twice Sunday. Finally getting a chance to swing the bat with two men on and one out in the 11th, he lined Clippard’s fastball over left fielder Mark DeRosa’s head and to the wall.
DeRosa is the Nationals’ positional Swiss Army knife, able to play six spots. But just 86 of his 1,052 career games came in left and he wasn’t able to make a play for the ball. Two runs scored.
However, problems started long before. In the first, left-hander Ross Detwiler appeared to get out of the inning when first baseman Adam LaRoche pulled down shortstop Ian Desmond’s high throw to put out Scott Rolen. First-base umpire Mike Everitt ruled Rolen safe. Replays showed the opposite.
“I thought we caught a couple bad breaks,” Johnson said.
After walking Jay Bruce, Detwiler appeared to strike out Ryan Ludwick with the bases loaded. The pitch was called a ball. Then Ludwick smacked Detwiler’s 2-2 fastball over the yellow W.B. Mason sign in center field for a grand slam.
“I guess I didn’t react all that well,” Detwiler said. “I put so much pressure on the bullpen….It was terrible.”
The Nationals (7-3), though, couldn’t take advantage of numerous opportunities to erase the inning. Yes, they rallied to tie the game at 5-5 on Rick Ankiel’s seventh-inning double. But the team finished 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- FENNO: Indignation is all Mike Shanahan has left
- FENNO: Honestly, Mike Shanahan, why should we believe you now?
- Robert Griffin III surprised at being benched by Mike Shanahan
- FENNO: High schooler Chris Cotillo balances MLB scoops, Spanish homework
Latest Blog Entries
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow