PHOENIX -- Tyler Clippard didn't have good career numbers against Justin Bour. D-backs manager Chip Hale knew that if he brought the right-handed reliever into the seventh inning of Friday's 8-6 loss to the Marlins, there was a good chance Miami manager Don Mattingly would counter with Bour's left-handed bat.Mattingly
PHOENIX -- Tyler Clippard didn't have good career numbers against Justin Bour. D-backs manager Chip Hale knew that if he brought the right-handed reliever into the seventh inning of Friday's 8-6 loss to the Marlins, there was a good chance Miami manager Don Mattingly would counter with Bour's left-handed bat.
Mattingly did. And what ensued after that was what Clippard called likely one of his worst outings ever.
Clippard gave up a pinch-hit grand slam to Bour, then walked two consecutive batters before being relieved in what turned into a seven-run rally for the Marlins. The D-backs' right-hander threw nine of his 10 pitches for balls -- the one strike was the grand slam.
"Really bad outing, one of the worst of my career probably as far as execution," Clippard said. "Just out of whack tonight, man, I couldn't find my release point. I don't know, rushing a little bit. It's just one of those nights."
Clippard, who Arizona signed this past offseason, said he thought he had been pitching well of late. He entered Friday with a 2.66 ERA in his first 24 appearances.
Hale has consistently relied on Clippard to pitch the seventh inning, before turning to Daniel Hudson and closer Brad Ziegler for the final two innings. Even though the matchup didn't present itself well against the Marlins -- Bour is 3-for-4 with three home runs in his career against Clippard -- Hale stuck with his right-hander.
"He's done a great job, whether it's starting the inning or coming in with people on base, he's been the guy to go to," Hale said. "I know Bour's not a great matchup for him, there's been some history there, but we trust him in that spot. We still trust him, I think maybe he was frustrated by the home run and just couldn't get it back together."
Clippard was trying to escape a jam created by starter Patrick Corbin, who had allowed only one run before loading the bases with one out in the seventh. After Clippard exited, left-hander Zac Curtis gave up the go-ahead, two-run double to Christian Yelich, marking the second and third runs charged to Clippard.
The D-backs have struggled to string together wins. They haven't had back-to-back victories since May 28-29 and haven't won three straight since winning five in a row from May 6-10.
"We've been struggling all year trying to find some momentum," Clippard said. "We came in and didn't do our job. It's frustrating. We need to start rolling off some wins. We had a chance to do that tonight and we didn't do it so, yeah, it hurts."
Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.