Nationals: 7 role players to be thankful for since 2005
He was a former All-Star closer who had fallen on hard times. He was on a new team. He was no longer the closer. He was battling shoulder issues. His ERA was sitting at 12.46 and then he was unemployed. Mike MacDougal was only without a job for three days before the Washington Nationals signed him.
With Joel Hanrahan unable to secure the job as closer, MacDougal was forced into ninth inning duties and performed well enough to keep the job the rest of the season.
The ninth inning was an adventure most nights when the Nationals had the lead and handed the ball to MacDougal. More times than not he slammed the door shut on the competition.
MacDougal was tall and lengthy and when he pitched it seemed like he was flailing limbs each and every direction. The 2009 Nationals won just 59 games, and Doogs saved 20 of them. Nothing came easy that year for the Nats, and holding leads fell into this category as well. In just eleven games since taking over as closer, did MacDougal retire the opponents in order. He had a stretch in September where he allowed exactly two hits in eight straight games. Yet he didn’t blow a save during that time while winning a game and saving two.
After the year MacDougal was cut loose by the Nats, and he would pitch three more years for two different teams before calling it quits. He wasn’t the best closer in team history, not even close. Mike MacDougal was entertaining nonetheless.