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The Nationals may go with a closer by committee

May 22, 2012, 9:12 AM EDT

San Diego Padres v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Henry Rodriguez continues to not get it done as the Nationals closer. Last night he came into the game to lock down a 2-0 lead in the ninth. Then he walked a guy, gave up a single and uncorked two wild pitches. The dude he walked came around to score and Sean Burnett had to, once again, close things out.

Davey Johnson has had a tremendous amount of patience with Rodriguez — you gotta give high-90s gas all of the chances you can — but it sounds like he’s had enough:


Can’t blame him. You figure that committee will consist of Craig Stammen, Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and, when there’s a three-run lead and other offense doesn’t seem that dangerous — some opportunities for Rodriguez too.

  1. JB (the original) - May 22, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Want Capps back?

    • harrysatchel - May 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Now that Mauer is playing 1B, I’m sure they would want Wilson Ramos back.

      • kkolchak - May 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        Except that Ramos is out for the year with a torn ACL.

        The Nats just need to bridge the gap until Storen returns at the All Star break.

      • harrysatchel - May 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        You’re right. I would keep Ramos, torn ACL and all.

    • natstowngreg - May 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Um, not really.

      • harrysatchel - May 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        There was some sarcasm in that statement. I am just happy to see exciting baseball in DC again. The Nats are on the winning side of the close ball games, as opposed to last year.

      • natstowngreg - May 22, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        We’ve witnessed some really bad baseball, haven’t we? I think that last year, the Nats bergan to learn how to win. It’s carried over to this season, backed up by better starting pitching.

        There’s still a ways to go (Michael Morse’s return should help), but 25-17 at the quarter pole ain’t shabby at all. If the Nats can survive the next tough month (only games vs. NL East and AL East), summer at Nats Park is going to be quite exciting indeed.

  2. yahmule - May 22, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Closer by Committee = The Great Satan.

  3. runyetirun - May 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    His body language after just one pitch was insane. It was like he instantly gave up.

    He’s got this weird thing going where if the conditions are anything less than optimal, he’s done, can’t pitch. So the fact that the “mound was wet” last night seemed to be in his head from get-go.

    Ton of talent, but man is he infuriating to watch because of what a head case he is.

    • harrysatchel - May 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I’m not big on Burnett, but he came into a handful of games last year and gave up taters like it was his job. However, I’ve never seen him lose confidence or give up like Rodriguez. HRod needs to remember that there are going to be slumps in his career that he just needs to battle through. Rodriguez hasn’t been the same since Barajas, and his .170 average, hit a game-winning home run in Pittsburgh.

    • kkolchak - May 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      I was at the stadium for the last game in which he was pulled for Burnett…you are right, his body language said everything you needed to know about his complete lack of confidence.

      When he’s on he is absolutely lights out, but yeah, I hate wondering which Henry is going to show up when he emerges from the bullpen.

  4. badmamainphilliesjamas - May 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Rodriguez is a committee all by himself.

  5. foreverchipper10 - May 22, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I know Storen will be back around the ASB but is there any word on Lidge?

    • natstowngreg - May 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Maybe another 2-3 weeks, but Lidge wasn’t very good as a closer himself.

      Craig Stammen has been outstanding thus far. Maybe time to give him a shot. I’m too old to continue to suffer with Bad Henry(TM).

      • foreverchipper10 - May 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Wow, that was a fast reply. Thanks for the update. I know Lidge isn’t the ideal option but I thought he might be useful as a stopgap until Storen comes back.

      • harrysatchel - May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        I agree with natstowngreg…Lidge has his own 9th inning demons. Although, he is not a head case like Rodriguez. The problem with Lidge is that his stuff is diminishing, which is to be expected. There is only so much scotch tape that body can support.

      • natstowngreg - May 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        The once-95 fastball is now 90-91. If his slider isn’t sharp, Lidge struggles. Not exactly what you want in a closer.

  6. runteddyrun - May 22, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Henry is terrifying to watch in the 9th. Stammen looks to be a safe, consistent alternative until 22 comes back – you have to keep Clippard where he is as our 8th inning man. Hopefully when Lidge comes back, and depending on how Stammen has been pitching in the 9th, you can move him to a 7th inning role.

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