Papelbon Wins This Sibling Battle, But We'll be Back...
Photo courtesy of NESN.
"Sibling Rivalry." I like that term for the little rivalry that Jonathan Papelbon has with the Red Sox. It went to a new level last night when the Red Sox were able to mount a rally against Pap, but Pap was able to finish us. Well, he's one of the best closers in the game. He's like Mariano Rivera, in that if you happen to get a win off of him, it's probably luck and you just happened to catch him on a rare bad night.
That was Papelbon's second straight save off of the Red Sox. According to NESN, Pap said that it's always fun to win against your brothers. It's not exactly surprising that Pap was able to beat us twice, though. He's had 18 straight scorless appearances before last night and is 10/10 in save opportunities, according to NESN. In fact, before last night, he hadn't given up a run since his first appearance on April 3, according to NESN. NESN said that harnessing fear is what drives Papelbon, and fear of failing in front of his family is what drove Pap against us.
It's always nice to see former players can show affection to their former teams, because that sometimes doesn't happen. I personally do miss Pap. I miss his passion, and I miss having someone reliable at the back end of the bullpen. I would have liked to see him stay a couple more years. He left a huge void and I think we saw the consequences of not having a solid closer last year. Obviously that wasn't the only problem, but not having that experience to anchor the pen cost us. I wonder if he would ever consider coming back. Ok, maybe the 90 degree heat in Boston fried my brain, but with Joel Hanrahan done for the year we need a really good closer.