Jonathan Papelbon – the highest paid reliever in all of baseball, in case you forgot that little fact – is looking for a bounceback season after a terrible 2013.
His efforts did not get off to a very good start Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers. Called upon to hold a two run lead in the ninth, Papelbon blew the save and then lost the game in ignominious fashion.
But it really wasn’t his fault, at least according to Papelbon. He doesn’t stink, he’s just not very lucky.
The quick recap: Ryne Sandberg sent Papelbon in for the ninth inning with the Phillies holding a 3-1 lead.
Pinch hitter Jim Adduci then cued one down to third base, driving in Beltre to make it 3-2. Runners on first and second with one out.
Shin-Soo Choo comes to the plate with the bases loaded, needing just a base hit or a fly ball to end the game.
But turns out he didn’t even have to make contact.
When Papelbon was doing his visualization exercises before the game, just a guess but I’m thinking walking in the winning run wasn’t what he was seeing inside his eyelids.
But of course it wasn’t Papelbon’s fault. It was bad luck that got him to that point in the first place.
“The whole inning was kind of just one of those innings,” Papelbon said in the locker room after the game (via Hardball Talk). “You get a cue ball down the third base line. Then you get a double-play ball, which you think is the game-ending double play. It’s not. My whole focus was get a ground ball, get a double play and get us out of the inning.”
Papelbon got his ground ball, but the infield didn’t do its job.
Wait, did Papelbon just throw his teammates under the bus?
Remember not long ago when Papelbon was complaining about a lack of leadership on the Phillies? I guess accountability is something the other guys have to have, but not Papelbon.
Unlucky? How about just awful and absurdly overpaid?