When the Mets introduced Tyler Clippard on July 28 after trading for the former Nationals and A’s reliever, New York trailed Washington by two games in the National League East standings. Clippard told reporters that the Nats were beatable and said “it’s going to be a lot of fun chasing down my old teammates there in Washington.”
It took less than a week.
Clippard appeared in two games during the Mets’ three-game sweep of the Nationals at Citi Field as the calendar turned to August. New York overtook Washington in the standings the next day. With the Mets’ lead at 3.5 games, Clippard was asked about those comments and how he’s helped his new team during an appearance with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio.
“When we played them in that weekend series, I was definitely the most vocal guy in the pitchers’ meeting, trying to give everybody an idea of what kind of hitters those guys are,” Clippard said Thursday. “As far as them being beatable, I mean, every team in baseball is beatable, so that wasn’t anything there.”
It’s true! Even the Cardinals, the team with baseball’s best record, have lost 43 times in 2015.
“They’re a great team,” Clippard said of the Nationals. “They’ve been going through some struggles right now, but I’ve got nothing but respect for all those guys, because they’re all my boys. But it’s going to be fun playing against them down the stretch and I’m looking forward to kind of hopefully garnering some bragging rights against all those guys.”
The Mets visit Nationals Park for a three-game series starting Sept. 7. The teams end the regular season with a three-game series in Flushing. Clippard has already thought about what it will be like to return to the city he called home for seven seasons.
“It’s going to be weird to be back in Washington, playing for the other team,” Clippard told MASN’s Mel Antonen on Wednesday in Baltimore, where the Mets split a two-game series with the Orioles. “It’s kind of what’s cool about this game. I can’t wait to say (thank you) to all the fans in Washington that supported me all those years, but then I want to turn around and beat the Nationals. On the field, it’s all business.”