Last night’s save seemed a bit contrived. The Sox had the game firmly in the “W” column with two outs in the ninth. The O’s get their just sixth hit of the night against Red Sox pitching and suddenly Papelbon is up and warming. The next batter reaches on a walk, and the closer is brought in to a 4-0 game, against the hapless Orioles, to face the .235-hitting Matt Wieters? That’s really bringin’ the cheese.
If not for a great sliding catch by Jason Bay, the shutout might have been blown and Papelbon may have had to throw a lot more pitches than necessary. All for the sake of a save that he was going to pick up soon enough anyway?
Call me crazy, but when they “baby” Papelbon the way they do (very rarely pitching more than an inning, not being available after pitching two consecutive days), his appearance last night seemed a bit frivolous.