Jonathan Papelbon spent three seasons from 2006-08 proving he was among the best closers in baseball. He then spent much of 2009 struggling to recapture his dominance, and his season was capped off with a postseason blown save and a winter of frustration.
Just two appearances into the 2010 campaign, Papelbon has opened himself up to a bit of questioning after giving up a 10th-inning home run to Curtis Granderson on Wednesday night. The closer, in total, walked two batters and gave up that one hit in 1 1/3 innings, and he was pulled to allow Scott Atchison to enter in relief.
And in Boston, whenever the words "Atchison now in for Papelbon" are uttered, there will be at least some ensuing madness.
Papelbon, for one, isn't buying into Wednesday's outing as a representation of any sort of trend.
"I liked the way I mixed my pitches," Papelbon told The Boston Globe. "I broke some bats. I was able to throw some first-pitch splits to Granderson and [Nick] Swisher. I felt I had good command. I felt my legs were underneath me. If I can duplicate the way I felt tonight for the rest of the season, I’ll be extremely happy with that."
But will you? Does the fact that Papelbon has been yanked twice in his last three Fenway appearances concern you, or would any worrying just be an overreaction this early in the season?
Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN's Red Sox Gameday Live or Red Sox Final.
April 7: How will John Lackey fare
April 7: How will John Lackey fareat Fenway Park?
Powered by WordPress.com VIP