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The Phillies won today, 1-0. Jonathan Papelbon, who has pitched five scoreless innings since blowing a save against the Rangers during the opening series, picked up his third fourth save of the year. After the game, however, he was predictably confrontational about the (very real) concerns over his velocity, or “velo,” as he called it, which, as we’ve discussed, has been down about 2-3 mph the last two years.

The quoticals, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com:

“Why do you guys care about velo[city] so much, man?” Papelbon said. “Does that matter? Does that really matter? Do you really think that matters? I don’t understand that. If a ball has life on it at the plate and you’re throwing 88 miles per hour versus 98 miles per hour, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference whether you threw 93 or 94 or 84.

“I just … I don’t get it, man. You all killed Roy [Halladay] about velo[city]. It’s not a big deal. You do your job and your ball’s coming out of your hand, it doesn’t really matter how hard you’re throwing. I mean, their pitcher over there today, how hard was he throwing? Low ’90’s? High ’80’s? Look how he pitched. He ran through our lineup the first eight innings basically, but he had life at the plate. That’s all that really matters, man. End of story.”

That’s a really dumb comment.

1) Roy Halladay retired.

2) It is a big deal, especially for a guy who relies on his overpowering fastball to be effective.

3) Late life (and location) is great, but late life on a 94 mph fastball is a lot better than late life on an 88 mph fastball. This… seems rather obvious to intellectual beings. Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley: