- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Nats’ pitching woes show up early and late in 11-inning loss to Reds
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 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Declassified cables from Berlin Wall tell tale of drama, dare,
- Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit
- Jay Gruden's long and winding road to Washington
- FENNO: Championship game provides an opportunity to listen to those who play
- FENNO: For Redskins, nonsensical is the new normal
Latest Blog Entries
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Russia should be booted from FIFA World Cup, senators say
- PIPES: Islam's inadvertent adverse effects on adherents
- MILLER: Donald Trump says hes a Tea Party member
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again