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Nationals sticking with Matt Capps as closer

Jun 7, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

Just two weeks ago Matt Capps was a perfect 16-for-16 closing out games for the Nationals, but yesterday’s blown save was his fourth in six chances since then and his third in four games so far this month.
His overall numbers are still solid, as Capps is 18-for-22 in saves opportunities with a 3.62 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 27.1 innings, but he’s now allowed 14 runs in his last 10 outings and both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen are waiting in the wings.
However, manager Jim Riggleman made it clear that Capps will remain the Nationals’ closer despite his struggles. According to Riggleman “he’s throwing the ball well” and “just has to make an adjustment with his sliders” because “he can’t just have his fastball going.”
We’ll see whether Riggleman changes his tune if Capps has another ugly outing or two, because unlike in past seasons the Nationals are near enough to contention that sticking with a struggling closer will get the manager some heat from fans and media members. Of course, with Bryce Harper hours from being drafted and Stephen Strasburg’s arrival a day away Capps can fly under the radar for a bit longer.

  1. Evan - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    In fairness to Capps, a couple of those blown saves have been hard to blame him for. His 1st blown save against the Astros started with a Zimmerman error, then he had a very questionable check-swing call go against him on Berkman that would have been strike 3, ending the game. The other ‘stros game had Guzman make the terrible error in right field that would have been the 3rd out. Yesterday, Bernadina misjudged a ball into a double and Rolen had another shaky check swing call go against Capps that turned into a 2-run HR on the next pitch. His luck just seems to be evening out after a great first 2 months.
    That being said, Capps has been shaky too. His slider seems to be hanging up in the zone and hitters are getting some good wood. for what it’s worth, I haven’t seen a real reason to think about pulling him…yet.

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