Tonight against Kansas City, the Nationals led 4-1 going into the top of the ninth. Due up: Jose Guillen (117 OPS+), Alberto Callaspo (96), the pitcher (Wilson Betemit pinch hit), Yuniesky Betancourt (90), Chris Getz (42), Scott Podsednik (94), and Jason Kendall (74).
At that moment, the Nationals win probability was over 98%. If you factored in the ability of the hitters due up, that number would be even higher.
Now, if you watched, you know that Capps loaded the bases with one out and allowed two runs before it was all over. It kinda got too close for comfort, but there was no need to use an ace reliever to get the job done. There are a lot of pitchers who could get three outs with a three run lead against that Royals line-up.
Tyler Walker was up and ready, and since Capps was already up to 33 appearances on the season and had pitched the night before, why not let the other guy pick up the easy save?
We all know that the reason Capps came in there was because it was a "save situation." It's the silly definition of what constitutes a save that dictates the manager's decision, not any real thinking.
It's been a long time since the Nationals had enough save opportunities and a good enough closer to make this particular complaint. But it would have been better for the Nationals long-term to let Walker pitch the ninth and use Capps only in the event that the game got close.