Nationals sticking with Matt Capps as closer

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Just two weeks ago Matt Capps was a perfect 16-for-16 closing out games for the Nationals, but yesterday’s blown save was his fourth in six chances since then and his third in four games so far this month.
His overall numbers are still solid, as Capps is 18-for-22 in saves opportunities with a 3.62 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 27.1 innings, but he’s now allowed 14 runs in his last 10 outings and both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen are waiting in the wings.
However, manager Jim Riggleman made it clear that Capps will remain the Nationals’ closer despite his struggles. According to Riggleman “he’s throwing the ball well” and “just has to make an adjustment with his sliders” because “he can’t just have his fastball going.”
We’ll see whether Riggleman changes his tune if Capps has another ugly outing or two, because unlike in past seasons the Nationals are near enough to contention that sticking with a struggling closer will get the manager some heat from fans and media members. Of course, with Bryce Harper hours from being drafted and Stephen Strasburg’s arrival a day away Capps can fly under the radar for a bit longer.

The Phillies have shut down Jake Thompson

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 03:  Jake Thompson #75 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field on March 3, 2016 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Phillies rookie starter Jake Thompson has been shut down for the year. Not that there’s much of the year left, but he will not make what would’ve been his last start.

Thompson allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Phillies’ 17-0 blowout loss to the Mets. That leaves him with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings for the season. Which, while that’s kind of ugly, it was a function of some bad starts mixed in with good starts as opposed to overall badness.

Everything about his 2016 should be viewed as “get yourself used to the big leagues, because you’re going to be part of this rotation in 2017 and beyond,” and from that perspective, you can call 2016 a success.

Congressional candidate uses Jose Fernandez’s death to score political points

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As a horrible Sunday unfolded yesterday there was at least one thing buoying the public mood: the overwhelming outpouring of emotion and love for Jose Fernandez and warm remembrances of his all-too-brief time on Earth.

But it wasn’t a unanimous sentiment. Some people, like this Florida state representative who is currently running for Congress, thought it was a great time to make a political point:

Setting aside the tastelessness of Gaetz’s timing and intent, one wonders if he appreciates that the reason Fernandez risked his life on multiple occasions was specifically so he could live in a country where protesting and not exhibiting a reflexive loyalty and patriotism is a fundamental right and does not get you thrown in jail.

But really, it’s the tastelessness which most galls here.