Jun 23, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Washington Nationals pitcherTyler Clippard
(36) pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Clippard earned his first save of the season as the Nationals beat the Brewers 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
After word got out that Jordan Zimmermann would not be able to pitch in the game, it seemed almost certain that the Nationals would be without a representative at the 85th Midsummer Classic Tuesday at Target Field. But as the Nationals got their rubber game started against the Phillies Sunday afternoon, it was reported that the team will be represented at the game after all as Clippard is set to make his second career All-Star appearance.
“I’m honored to do it. I feel like the Nationals need some representation,” Clippard told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. “Jordan wasn’t able to be there. I was afraid we might not have anybody in uniform, so I’m just happy to go out there and just represent our team and maybe get into a game and see what happens.”
Clippard got the win in the 2011 All-Star Game after pitching a third of an inning and allowing a single. The right-hander has been a key part of the Nationals’ bullpen this season, posting a 2.03 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 40 innings of work.
Although the case can be made that Soriano and even Drew Storen deserved the honor more than Clippard, the fact that the right-hander was chosen over the other two is a testament to just how deep the Nationals’ bullpen is — a fact that will definitely come in handy down the stretch.
I still believe there are other Nationals players that should be at Target Field Tuesday night, but having one representative is much better than having none. Clippard has been great this season and he could play a major role in the late innings of the All-Star Game. It took a while and came at the very last-minute, but the Nationals finally have an All-Star.