He didn’t pick up a vulture win as he did in 2011, but Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard’s second all-star game appearance — from the stylin’ sunglasses he sported during pregame introductions, to the curveball he fired to the backstop — was every bit as memorable.
Never change, Tyler Clippard. https://t.co/DboPL2chVC
— Capital Sports Fcst (@NatsWx) July 15, 2014
Clippard’s pregame shades were polarizing, if not polarized, with several viewers commenting on Twitter that they made him look like a rhymes-with-LaLoosh.
Take the damn sunglasses off Clippard, have some respect — Ron (@rcw1168) July 15, 2014
“I just put on the shades,” Clippard told Adam Kilgore after the game. “They were prescription, and I wanted to be able to see. So it was either that or my glasses. I couldn’t really change. I was like, ‘Uh, I probably shouldn’t be wearing these, but it’s too late now.’”
Clippard ditched the sunglasses for his clear goggles once the game began and entered with one out and runners on second and third in the fifth inning. His second pitch to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve sailed over catcher Devin Mesoraco’s head and ricocheted off the backstop.
“Just changing eye levels,” Clippard said. “Keeping them guessing. It happens.”
The ball rebounded toward home plate and Mesoraco made a leaping, one-handed grab before firing to third base, where White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez managed to slide in just ahead of the tag.
Altuve’s at-bat ended with a sacrifice fly to increase the American League’s lead to 5-3. Clippard retired Miguel Cabrera on a fly ball to center field to end the inning.
“In a game like this, in a spot like that, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Clippard said. “I’m mad at myself for not striking him out. But I got him out.”
So far best part on the game is Tyler Clippard. Only player to wear sunglasses in the history of introductions then he throws over backstop
— Brian (@IamSouthern_eh) July 16, 2014