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Williams enjoys Clippard's take on potential Game 5

SAN FRANCISCO -- Prior to Game 4 of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on Tuesday, Washington reporters were all clamoring for one key piece of information: Who, if the Nationals were to win Tuesday, will manager Matt Williams slate to start Thursday's Game 5 (if necessary, 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) in D.C.?

Reliever Tyler Clippard provided answers.

"After long talks with Matt," the right-hander said as he took the podium, "he's chosen me to be the Game 5 starter.

"I've been waiting my whole life for this opportunity."

The Nats' setup man was, of course, kidding. Told of Clippard's gag minutes later, Williams could only laugh.

"He's funny," Williams said. "Clip's really funny."

Williams would not yet name his Game 5 starter, but he did note that Stephen Strasburg was prepared to pitch out of the bullpen in Game 4 -- a sign that Jordan Zimmermann would likely start the potential Game 5.

Clippard, meanwhile, will assume his regular relief role, from which he's tossed one scoreless inning in each of the first three NLDS games. In six career postseason frames, Clippard has allowed just one run and two hits.

Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for
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