I'm a hack!
Really I'm just bored. The Nats losing a game because the B-Team bullpen (not Glover, Kelley) blew things the day after one of the rare, not typical, travel situations isn't a surprise. I figured this for a loss. So rather than talk about Enny Romero (sure he had two-outs but I'm not sure he threw a strike to Story), or try to excuse Blake Treinen (sinkerballers may have tough times in Coors because the ball will sink less), and as I wait patiently for Zimm to hit my self imposed May 1 or 100 PA deadline on looking at his stuff, I figure I'll tackle an enduring "mystery" of the Nats in a completely not serious post.
I'll tackle the Curse of Cordero.
In 2005 at age 23 Chad Cordero was named the Nats closer and successfully closed 47 games, made the All-Star game, even finished 5th in Cy Young voting (all it means is he got a vote but yes that happened). He would be the rare bright spot for the post inaugural Nats saving 29 in 2006 and 37 in 2007. He was the 2nd youngest player to hit 100 saves. But in April of 2008 he tore his shoulder and that's death. He was never the same after that and some say that upon being non-tendered by Bowden on a sports talk radio show (Bowden was the worst) he cursed the position of closer for the Nats.
Let us examine the doomed careers of those who followed "Under the Shadow of the Flat Brim" (that's what I'm calling the book I'm pitching as a hacky beat writer trying to find a niche that'll get me PAID)
2008 - Jon Rauch - took over for Chad, successful and promptly traded to Arizona where he was a bust. Only 38 saves post Nats career, bounced around for a couple years and career was over at 33
2008/2009 - Joel Hanrahan - took over for Rauch. Handed job for 2009, before he was done had a 1-3 record, with 5 blown saves in 10 attempts. Traded to Pittsburgh that same year. Tommy John would end his career at 31
2009 - Mike MacDougal - "Mac the Ninth" took over for Hanrahan. Non tendered by team after season. Spent most of post Nats career throwing to a 6.00+ ERA in AAA.
2010 - Matt Capps - Signed to take over duties. Traded to Minnesota before years end. After 1 and a half decent years, injured and at age 28 was never seen in the big leagues AGAIN.
2011-2015 Drew Storen - Drafted to be the closer. Immediate success, but injured. Came back in 2012 to reclaim duties right before playoffs. Successful twice before losing G5 and prompting Lerners to bring in Soriano and break Storen's little brain. Would go back and forth between successful closer, playoff disappointment, and replaced head-case 8th inning man. Traded to Toronto where he promptly wasn't named closer and again busted. Currently in Cincinnati doing well because they've convinced him he's part closer. Meltdown to come if not closer by Memorial Day
2012 - Brad Lidge - We do not talk about Brad Lidge with the Nationals other than to say his last pitch was made in this uniform.
2012 - Henry Rodgriguez - H-Rod, as he was unaffectionately known, was given the chance to close early in 2012 along with Lidge while Storen was out. Walked everyone. Walked right out of game two years later at age 27
2012 - Tyler Clippard - The "Best Middle Reliever in Baseball History" Clippard took over after the Lidge/H-Rod plan imploded and successfully conquered the closer job but Storen came back and the Nats wanted him as closer so back he went to middle relief. Eventually traded to Oakland in 2015 where he successfully closed for most of the year, but was traded to the Mets to do middle relief. Now successful in middle relief in NYY. NO CURSE CAN STOP CLIPPARD.
2013 - Rafael Soriano - Brought here after the G5 debacle because Scott Boras knows when you are most vulnerable, Soriano was a functional reliver for almost 2 years before his arm gave out. He would lose his role back to Storen and pretty much be done with baseball after that.
2015 - Johnathan Papelbon - Traded for in late July 2015 because Storen couldn't save G1 of the NLDS the year before. Papelbon would choke Bryce but because the Nats had no better options he stared 2016 as closer. He made it about half a year before flaming out and ending his career.
Successful closer careers that died in Washington? Check. Arms that couldn't pitch more than a couple of years before succumbing to the curse? Check. Drew Storen? Check.
Does this speak more to the choices the Nats have made? Perhaps. Does this speak more to the fragility of the relief arm? Perhaps. Does this ignore the good pre-injury performances like Hanrahan's back to back All-Star years, and Matt Capps successful Minnesota run to misrepresent the situation? Perhaps. Does this ignore Mark Melancon who will likely be pretty good for a few years for San Fran? Perhaps.
However some will always believe that there can be no saving the saver when he toils "Under the Shadow of the Flat Brim" HHAHAHAHAHHA!
(Except Tyler Clippard - He's awesome)