PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12: National League All-Star Tyler Clippard #36 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch in the fourth inning of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
• LINKS For Those Unfamiliar With Tyler Clippard:
• "Washington Nationals' All-Star Tyler Clippard is good at baseball" - Doghouse, Federal Baseball
• "Washington Nationals' Tyler Clippard: Your 2011 Nats' All-Star." - Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball
• 2011 MLB ASG: Since they were going alphabetical by team, the Washington Nationals' Tyler Clippard was the last player on the NL reserve roster introduced before the 2011 All-Star Game's starting lineups were announced. The 26-year-old right-hander didn't get much of a response from a Chase Field crowd that had no problem booing any and all D-Backs' rivals when their names went out over the PA system.
Clippard entered the game in the fourth after Philly lefty Cliff Lee had allowed a two-out HR by Adrian Gonzalez and back-to-back two-out singles by Jose Bautista and Josh Hamilton. Two runners on. Not a problem for Tyler Clippard. The Nats' right-hander, who's up 0-2 on Rangers' third baseman Adrian Beltre after two 92 mph fastballs, gives up a line drive single to left. Astros' outfielder Hunter Pence fields it coming in and throws home as Bautista rounds third. Braves' catcher Brian McCann catches the throw in, makes the tag, "You're out!!" Clippard throws three pitches, gives up a hit, but the AL is denied a run...1-0 American League after three and a half...
Bottom of the fourth, Rangers' lefty C.J. Wilson gives up back-to-back singles to the Mets' Carlos Beltran and the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, and a three-run blast by Prince Fielder and all-of-a-sudden the Nationals' reliever is in line for a win with the NL up 3-1. Can a Nats' pitcher earn a Curly-W for the second-straight year? Last year it was Matt Capps, who entered the 2010 ASG in Anaheim in the bottom of the sixth inning in Angel Stadium of Anaheim and struck David Ortiz out with a a 2-2 two-seamer inside under Big Papi's arms for a called strike three and the end of the sixth in a game in which the NL trailed 1-0. Capps earned the All-Star Curly-W for his 0.1 IP when the National League went up a half-inning after he'd pitched.
The 2011 NL squad added to Clippard's lead when Andre Ethier's two-out single off the Angels' Jared Walden drove Rickie Weeks in to make it 4-1 National League. LA's Clayton Kershaw throws a scoreless fifth. Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens holds the lead through the sixth. The NL adds a run in the seventh, 5-1. Jurrjens' Braves' teammates Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters hold it through the seventh and the Padres' Heath Bell (after a Coffey-like sprint and unexpected slide on the infield grass) throws a scoreless eighth. Former Nats' current Pirates' closer Joel Hanrahan gets one out in the ninth and should have two if not for a throwing error by the Cubs' Starlin Castro. When the Rays' Matt Joyce singles in the next at bat, Hanrahan's done. Brian Wilson's on to end it. The Giants' closer gets a fly to right from Michael Cuddyer and a groundout to short by Paul Konerko! Tyler Clippard and the National League get the W! Second-straight All-Star W for a Nats' reliever.
• Miss The Game? The Clippard Faithful Were Watching...