Clippard trying to fight through "mental wall"

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard met with the media before Sunday's game against the Giants after allowing four runs on two hits, one a home run, two walks and just one strikeout in 1/3 of an inning in Saturday's loss. It was his third setback in the last ten games in which his ERA has exploded to 11.00.

"I think the bottom line is I am not making quality pitches when it counts," Clippard said. "I am making some good pitches - just not when it counts.

"I have felt like I have been pitching really good and kind of hit a road block in the last couple of weeks. It is more of a mental wall in a sense of getting through it more so than anything else that is going on.

"I have watched countless hours of video and everything seems to be in order. My mechanics are there. It is just a matter of getting my head on straight and throwing everything with conviction."

It is all about "believing in what I am capable of doing instead of worrying about what could happen. Just worry about what I am doing and go out there with a little more edge and confidence. I think that is what I have been lacking."

Jim Riggleman said today he will give Clippard and Joel Peralta the day off, and he has J.D. Martin, Matt Capps and Drew Storen available if Livan Hernandez can't go long.

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