WASHINGTON (AP) — Adding a third lefty to a suddenly shaky relief corps, the Washington Nationals claimed Matt Thornton off waivers from the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old Thornton went 0-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 24 2-3 innings across 46 appearances with the Yankees this season.
"He gives us another power option out of the bullpen," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said before his team played the New York Mets. "He's a hard thrower that's had great success against lefties and righties in his career."
Both Rizzo and manager Matt Williams spoke highly of Thornton's postseason experience, with the GM going so far as to say Thornton "has pitched in the World Series." But Thornton's playoff record consists of three appearances covering 3 1-3 scoreless innings for the White Sox during the 2008 AL division series against Tampa Bay.
Thornton was with the Boston Red Sox last season but was left off their postseason roster.
"He's just got experience. He's been there, he's done it," Williams said. "He's had times where he's come in late in games during pennant stretches."
Nationals relievers, including NL All-Star Tyler Clippard, have been one of the team's strengths most of the season, but recently they've tailed off, allowing 19 runs in 33 1-3 innings entering Tuesday.
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