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Craig Stammen

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Stammen and Kellie Pickler in 2012

Craig N. Stammen

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[edit] Biographical Information

Craig Stammen left school as the University of Dayton's all-time strikeout leader. He was the team's closer as a sophomore and a starter as a junior. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 12th round of the 2005 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Ben Jones and made his pro debut that summer.

He reached the major leagues with the Nationals in May of 2009, making 19 starts his rookie season with a record of 4-7, 5.11. In 2010, he again made 19 starts, but also appeared 16 times out of the bullpen, putting together a record of 4-4, 5.13, while pitching a career-high 128 innings. The Nationals decided to make him a full-time reliever in 2011 and he spent most of that season in the minor leagues. The decision would turn out to be an inspired one, as he became a much more effective pitcher in his new role. In 7 big league appearances, that year, his ERA was 0.87. In 2012, he was a mainstay of the bullpen as the Nationals won a division title for the first time, pitching 59 times with a record of 6-1, 2.34 and his first career save. He was used four times in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up three runs in as many innings. In the decisive Game 5, he started the 6th inning in relief of starter Gio Gonzalez with a 6-3 lead and got the first two outs after a lead-off single to David Freese, after which Sean Burnett got the last out. But the three relievers who followed all gave up at least a run each and Washington suffered a heart-breaking 9-7 loss.

Stammen had another good season as a middle reliever in 2013, going 7-6 with a 2.76 ERA in 55 games, but the Nationals missed the postseason, In 2014, they won their second NL East title in three years, however, and Stammen continued to contribute, with a 3.84 ERA in 49 games, covering 72 2/3 innings. His record was 4-5. He pitched twice in the postseason as Washington bowed out to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS, giving up a run in four innings. He made five scoreless appearances at the start of the 2015 season before complaining of pain in his forearm. He underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon, requiring surgery and putting him out for the rest of the year.

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