- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
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 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: Mike Shanahan's empty words no salve to free-falling Redskins
- FENNO: No obvious answer for Redskins in determining Mike Shanahan's fate
- FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall
- Learning to play football right: Some hope to bring safety back to game
- FENNO: NCAA finds way into Rep. Linda Sanchez's crosshairs over concussions
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow