That was his role last year as a setup man, and it's a role Clippard didn't always perform perfectly. He allowed 18-of-46 inherited runners to score, blowing enough leads that he wound up with 11 victories when the Nationals would rally with him as the pitcher of record.
But early this year, Clippard seems to have evolved; he's inherited nine runners in the five games he's pitched, only allowing two of them to score. And one of those came on Thursday night, when Clippard got the ball with runners on second and third and none out, and escaped with only a RBI groundout.
Clippard got a 0.00 ERA, and he's already thrown seven innings in five appearances. He pitched out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the Nationals' 6-2 victory over the Mets on Friday.
He's simply becoming too valuable to the Nationals to use solely as a setup man.
"It's good," Clippard said. "That's been my role over the last two years here. I know what I'm expected to do. I'm just trying to fill that role and do my job."
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