Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Papelbon's Struggles

                Jonathan Papelbon is the icing on a moldy cake. This used to be the case but the whole cake may be going bad. In Jonathan Papelbon’s last 5 save opportunities he has converted only 1. Could this be a problem or is this just something that the roller coaster named the 2013 Phillies will have to deal with. Last night was not completely Papelbon’s fault because he came into the game with a runner inherited from Cliff Lee and another run is Carlos Ruiz fault because he was charged with a passed ball. No runs were charged to Papelbon but he shouldn’t have allowed any runs to score. The point being is that if Papelbon continues to pitch this way the Phillies will be in a jam.

                Since the Phillies aren’t winning that many games having a shutdown closer is vital to the team’s success. Papelbon fulfilled this role in the first 2 and a half months of the season posting a 1.46 ERA and saving 13 games. In his past five games it has gone south. His ERA rose 0.66 points during this span and he allowed 7 men to reach base. These performances are bad for the Phillies because if this continues his trade value is lowered. I personally would love to keep Papelbon on the team but Ruben Amaro Jr. may have other ideas. That being said this could be a rough time for Papelbon and the only thing he can do to help is return to his normal form and close out games.

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