Interested in watching Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus read segments from “Fifty Shades of Grey”?
Of course you are.
During the Nationals’ stop in New York this week, the four relievers went by the MLB Fan Cave, and took part in a few video shoots. One of them had the guys reading clips from the sultry book which has swept the nation.
Stammen told me that the group needed a bunch of takes to get the video segments down, largely because Burnett couldn’t stop laughing. You’ll get a taste of that at the end.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the slow head turn by Mattheus and the glance and page flip done by Clippard and Stammen.
Good work, boys. Video is below.
Drew Storen didn’t participate in the Fan Cave action, but he still had a successful stint in New York.
The reliever only faced two hitters during the Nationals’ three games against the Mets - actually, he faced one hitter twice - but got the job done.
Storen is apparently becoming the Nationals’ David Wright specialist. He got the Mets’ hot-hitting third baseman to fly out to center in a one-run game on Monday, and then retired Wright again yesterday on a grounder to third. Both times, Wright represented the potential game-tying run, and both times, Storen set him down.
“No better way to get yourself in shape than to face a guy like that,” Storen said. “Especially in big spots, like I said the other day, just kind of keep adding the pressure of facing the same guy. It’s pretty fun, to be honest with you, to face a really good hitter like that and have a battle like that with the game on the line. Can’t really ask for much more than that.”
Storen has only made four appearances since returning to the majors after a lengthy rehab process. He missed over half the season after having surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow, but has diligently worked his way back up to the big leagues. It’s been a long road, but Storen is finally starting to feel like himself again.
“Those situations, that’s what’s going to get me back,” Storen said. “Faced an unbelievable hitter on the road in a big spot, with a sweep on the line protecting a great performance by (Stephen Strasburg).”
In his three previous outings, Storen relied mostly on his two-seam fastball, his bread-and-butter pitch. Yesterday, the righty leaned on his slider, throwing it three straight times to begin the at-bat, including when he fell behind in the count 2-0.
Despite some hesitation about going to his off-speed stuff in such a big spot, he threw a dandy of a slider on 2-0 which froze Wright for a strike, then pounded him inside with a 95 mph two-seamer which Wright could only beat into the ground for the third out of the eighth inning.
Manager Davey Johnson will continue to ease Storen back into action, giving him a couple short outings instead of pitching him for extended periods right out of the gate. But through his first four appearances this season, so far, so good for Storen and his surgically repaired elbow.
“My arm’s bouncing back now,” Storen said. “I’m able to throw normal between outings and before the game and stuff so I think that’s the biggest sign for me. Not necessarily whether I can pitch in the game but what I can do before the game. It’s getting right there and that’s why I’m happy with where I’m at.”