Way back in August after yet another epic performance by Tyler Clippard, I decided to write a sort of ode to the artist formerly known as Peaches. In that post, linked here, I showed you how Clippard has fared when stacked up against other relievers - the verdict? he was well ahead of the class.
Recently, as the Nats have been struggling to win ballgames, I have began to wonder how, after all of these appearances in the past two years, he is still able to dominate hitters.
So, my mind working the way it does, it was time to do a little bit of research.
Since 2007, only five relief pitchers have thrown more than 90 innings in a single season; Matt Belisle and Tyler Clippard in 2010 an Heath Bell, Peter Moylan, and FNG Saul Rivera in 2007.
Here is there WAR and ERA in their 90IP seasons vs their next season -
Heath Bell - 2.4/2.02 in 2007 ..... 0.9/3.58 in 2008
Peter Moylan - 0.6/1.80 in 2007 ..... 0.0/1.59 in 2008
- Pitched in just 7 games - Went on DL on April 15th with an Elbow injury, missed the season
Saul Rivera - 1.3/3.68 in 2007 ..... 1.3/3.96 in 2008
Matt Belisle - 2.2/2.93 in 2010 ..... 1.2/3.56 in 2011
So, as you can see, each pitcher saw a drastic drop in ERA, each pitcher (save one) saw a decrease in WAR, and there was one pitcher is a serious elbow injury. Can you see where I am going with this?
Tyler Clippard threw down a 1.4 WAR an a 3.09 ERA in 2010 - decent numbers for a reliever.
This year his WAR is slightly down at 1.1, but his ERA is a mind-boggling 1.96. No other pitcher was able to even hold steady at an above-average/average reliever in the year after they threw 90+ innings - Clippard got better.
And after 2 more (stellar) innings last night, Clippard projects to be right around 90 innings again this year...
Thoughts, CapBallers?? The Comments section awaits!
[Ed. Note] Make sure you come back around 1 for Sean's debut post!