Papelboner blows another save, so who can bail him out? Dustin Pedroia.
On a night that saw Dustin go 5-5 and hit three homers it was also the second night in a row that Papelbon blew it in the ninth. I don’t have any stats to back this up but is the life of a MLB closer that short?
Let’s think about it. Keith Foulke was great in Oakland, came to the Sox for the magical 2004 run and then basically fell off the map. When he did fall off the map Papelbon took over the job and was nearly unhittable. Now just five years later his WHIP continues to rise and his walk to strike out ratio continues to get smaller. In fact this year, so far, he’s already allowed more home runs than he has in any other season. Oh and we’re not even at the halfway point of this season.
Is Papelbon done? I doubt that. Every closer is going to hit a bad stretch, but at the same time you have to wonder how long his future in Boston will be. He wants to cash in and be the highest paid closer, ever, in baseball but he’s certainly not pitching like it. Even the Yankees who throw around money like drunken sailors wouldn’t be dumb enough to give Papelbon four years at $60 million at this point right?
Back to Pedroia, here’s some interesting facts “borrowed” from ESPN.com regarding his laser show:
Pedroia’s three home runs traveled a combined 1,154 feet. His first HR of the game went 396 feet, accounting for the longest homer of his career. His third HR of the game, which proved to be the game-winner, traveled 373 feet thanks to 42 feet of “atmosphere assistance” (wind, temperature and altitude). Only Coors Field and Minute Maid Park’s friendly confines would have yielded a home run on that hit. The MLB average distance on home runs since 2006 is 398 feet, so he’s never once hit an average-length home run.
The Sox now travel to San Fransisco for a weekend tilt with the Giants. Wake and Buchholz go in the first two and then Sunday afternoon we get to see Lincecum squaring off against Lester. That game should be a real pitcher’s duel.
Bruins draft tonight on VS. Will it be Hall or Seguin? Stay tuned.