Just a bad night for Papelbon
All Jonathan Papelbon wanted on Tuesday night was some work. Due mostly to the way the Red Sox have been playing, he hadn’t pitched in exactly one week.
But instead of just getting work, Papelbon got worked by the Orioles in a disaster of a ninth inning. He came on with his team trailing 5-1 in the top of the ninth.
Not long thereafter, Papelbon had given up five hits and four runs over one inning, his ERA spiking from 3.39 to 3.92. Papelbon threw 18 pitches, 13 for strikes. The Orioles were, yes, aggressive.
“I don’t think it was rusty from not pitching in a week. I thought I went out there and threw some pretty good pitches,” Papelbon said. “I thought my delivery was pretty good. I thought I threw the ball well. I thought the ball came out of my hand well. The outcome wasn’t good, but I thought the way I threw the ball was.”
“If you look at the situation in the ballgame that we’re in, it is what it is. I was coming in trying to get some work in and that team came out swinging the bats and was ambushing some first pitches and there’s nothing you can really do about that. The whole outing kind of snowballed and the leadoff hitter, broken bat bloop hit. A couple pitches that I thought were good pitches, if not balls off the plate, they were filleted the other way, next thing you know, throwing error, ball back to me, and it kind of snowballed.
Save vs. non-save situation?
“I don’t think that affected me,” Papelbon said. “You can have a different mindset going in in a save appearance than when it’s not a save appearance, but it doesn’t affect the way you throw the ball.
There was one grounder where it seemed like Papelbon had a play at the plate. Even manager Terry Francona wondered if his closer lost track of the outs. Papelbon went to first. But he says that was the only play he throught he had.
“Well, he was probably going to be safe at home and I’m out there trying to get outs,” Papelbon said. “I’m already in a situation that’s knee deep. I’m not going to risk a play at the plate when I think he’s going to be safe. I’m already in a tight spot, so I’m trying to get the outs that I can get.