The weather is getting warm, which means more opportunities for Jonathan Papelbon to do something to make you hate him.
Cole Hamels pitched near-brilliantly yesterday, giving up only one run in seven innings while striking out 10 and walking three. The Phillies carried a 4-1 lead into the ninth when, you’d think, they’d send in Papelbon to close out a sweep of their division rivals.
Papelbon was sore in his general neckual area. From Phillies.com:
Closer Jonathan Papelbon watched the Phillies’ three-run lead in the ninth inning evaporate from the bullpen, unable to help his team in his usual role. Starter Cole Hamels watched the Mets’ rally from the clubhouse, as his stellar performance was negated.
“It’s just kind of a product of the last couple games getting up in the bullpen, the tie game a bunch of times the other night,” Papelbon said. “I’ve been through that situation plenty of times in my career.”
Papelbon said he would be ready to pitch Tuesday when the Phillies face the Angels. Sandberg said it was important to listen to his closer and give him rest, despite the frustrating end to Sunday’s game.
“He needed a day off,” Sandberg said. “When guys are used numerous times, they need their days off.”
Papelbon, who has been outstanding since his last blown save and since farting on reporters, threw 21 pitches combined on Friday and Saturday. That’s substantially fewer than God-knows-how-old Fausto Carmona Roberto Heredia Rodriguez Citron Hernandez Montezuma, who tossed 99 pitches on Friday and was forced to tag-team with Antonio Bastardo yesterday just to get through the ninth because Papelbon was sore.
Papelbon is sitting in the bullpen- all by himself. This is weird
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) May 11, 2014
If Papelbon told them he wasnt available today after 24 pitches the last 2 nights, Hamels should slug him.
— Mike Missanelli (@MikeMiss975) May 11, 2014
So you pay papelbon 13 mil a year to throw 25 pitches a week?
— Josh Innes (@JoshInnesRadio) May 11, 2014
Generally with the Phillies, “general soreness” is code for a looming 6-8-week trip to the DL, but this one is all on Papelbon– it seems Sandberg and the Phils were irked by his unavailability. Sandberg told the WIP Morning show: “When a pitcher comes in and says he has things bothering him and he can’t pitch, we have our hands tied.”
Of course, whatever was bothering Papelbon wasn’t bothering him on Saturday, when he stopped by the MLB Fan Cave in New York to throw in their Milk Bottle Challenge (before the Phils game that night):
The Phils lost in 11, 5-4.