It could be a long season for Jonathan Papelbon and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Papelbon surrendered three runs on four hits and two walks Wednesday while blowing his first save of 2014. Papelbon seemingly fell out of favor in Philadelphia last season, and the veteran closer didn’t do anything to help his cause Wednesday, as some in-game mannerisms and postgame comments only added to the drama.
Papelbon looked to induce a ground ball in the ninth inning with one out and the Phillies clinging to a 3-2 lead. The right-hander got the ground ball he was looking for, but the result wasn’t a game-ending double play — like Papelbon anticipated. Instead, because of the Phillies’ defensive alignment, the ball shot past second baseman Chase Utley, leading to a game-tying single. Papelbon threw his hands up in disgust before then walking in the winning run.
“Obviously I don’t know whether that’s called from the bench or by the middle infielders,” Papelbon told reporters after Philadelphia’s 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. “But less than two outs, I’m thinking ground ball and I’m thinking let’s get this double play and go home.
“Obviously I’m not going to second-guess my teammates or my coach. Whatever they decide, I’ve got to run with it and go with it and do my best to do my job. But it’s just one of those weird innings, man.”
While Papelbon didn’t throw his teammates or coaches under the bus, per se, his frustration was obvious. Given that Papelbon has been in hot water before, things might only get worse in the City of Brotherly Love with continued struggles.