Tyler Clippard has been among baseball's most-effective relievers for more than four years now, and he has shown an ability to bounce back from several rough stretches along the way.
Which is why Nationals manager Matt Williams has continued to show faith in the 29-year-old set-up man and why he didn't hesitate to stick with Clippard during last night's fateful eighth inning, even against the left-handed Raul Ibanez in the evening's biggest at-bat.
"Clip's been the eighth-inning guy here for a long time," Williams said. "Certainly (his) track record indicates that he's good against lefties. He's just as effective against left-handers as he is right-handers. So I want to stay with him there. I want him to be our guy that shuts down that eighth inning."