Just when I was working on some kind of catchy phrase for the Red Sox ninth inning battery (Salt ‘n’ Paps was in the running), Papelbon takes the express train to Sucksville. Four hits, a walk and three earned runs in a third of an inning led to the most gut-wrenching ending to anything since Million Doallar Baby.

Something to think about: Papelbon had Wednesday off and Bard hadn’t pitched since Monday in New York…perhaps one of them should have started the ninth inning? Sure, Lackey looked good for eight strong innings, but why not bring in Bard or Paps with a three run lead to pitch a clean ninth? Tito’s moves are usually the right ones, but this decision is suspect. It looks like a case of trying to get an individual stat (a complete game for Lackey) instead of concentrating on the win.

But none of that excuses Papelbon for opening up a nice, fresh can of suck and blowing the game. And what of his post-game comments?

Papelbon said he felt “groggy” all afternoon, both in the bullpen and on the mound.

“I didn’t have much power or energy in my delivery today,” Papelbon said.

Groggy? Have to get up too early for the day game? Just say “I sucked” and move on!

Don’t forget to enter the Pedroia contest for a chance to win a $50 eBay gift certificate. Only 19 entries so far. Come on SG Nation, you’re better than that.