Jonathan Papelbon is not endearing himself to the city of Philadelphia this week.
In his first appearance since basically suggesting the Phillies blow up their entire roster, Papelbon allowed four hits and two runs to blow a 1-0 lead in the ninth, spoiling a sterling outing by starter Cole Hamels and saddling the Phillies with their 10th loss in 11 games.
The home crowd, never one to shy away from heckling sports stars, let Papelbon have it on his way off the mound, showering the closer with a chorus of boos.
The blown save, Papelbon’s sixth his last 13 opportunities, came just hours after the Phillies held a pregame ceremony honoring former closer Brad Lidge, who was 48-for-48 in save opportunities during the team’s 2008 World Series championship season.
In the clubhouse after the loss, Papelbon tried to clarify his earlier comments, saying that it was never his intention to single out any of his teammates.
“I wasn’t calling anybody out,” Papelbon told The Associated Press. “I was saying that in any job, whether it’s baseball, working in Wal-Mart or working in the corporate world, if you aren’t getting the job done, you’re going to lose your job. Me included. Everybody here understands that from players to coaches to management. We don’t keep our jobs forever. I wasn’t singling anyone out. We all understand that.”
Hamels, however, who pitched eight scoreless innings while also driving in his team’s only run, echoed his closer’s original sentiments, calling out a fundamental flaw within the Phillies’ clubhouse.
“Ultimately, I didn’t sign here for this,” Hamels said. “A lot of our thoughts don’t get voiced. When they do, it looks bad.”
The Phillies had a chance to wipe away Papelbon’s blown save when they loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but Giants closer Sergio Romo induced a pair of popups and a game-ending groundout to extend Philadelphia’s streak of futility.