Is Jonathan Papelbon Being Overused?
(This post is a follow-up to my “One Game at a Time” article of a few days ago.)
In that article I outlined the benefit that the leading team has in “slotting” relief pitchers. Terry Francona in turn made me look like a chump.
Here’s a portion of the article:
An example of this could end up being Jonathan Papelbon in game three of the Boston vs LA Angels series. While an off-day helped out, Papelbon threw 13 pitches in 1 IP in game one and 21 pitches in 2 IP in game two. Papelbon, who tired in september (.347 BAA), will probably go no more than 1 IP in game three and may even have a portion of the ninth handled for him.
Well, Papelbon was called upon again on Sunday night in a tied game situation. Another two innings pitched, another 31 pitches.
Since the series began on October 1st, Papeblon has thrown 75 pitches in three appearances. For a pitcher with a poor September I was not 100% behind bringing him in during a tied game situation.
Did the Red Sox over play their hand when trying to nail down the game Sunday night? I’d say that Papelbon may not be up for too much work this evening but who knows?