If you thought Jonathan Papelbon occasionally blew saves, that’s due to an occasionally injured body part.
It’s his hip. Apparently the closer has been “occasionally” suffering from a sore hip, which was not given as an excuse for his recent blown saves, and one almost blown one, but just as a thing that was happening.
It does explain why he didn’t close out Tuesday’s victory over the Nats, during which we saw Antonio Bastardo allow a run before somehow getting the job done. Charlie Manuel explained that Paps’ problem is just one of those problems that can be solved by just sitting in the bullpen and not having to pitch for a day.
Papelbon himself explained it away as just being part of “the life of a closer,” as when he throws “5 out of 7 days,” his body starts retaliating. Which makes sense. But he does only throw one inning.
Hey, what do we know! Maybe the hip is sore because it’s trying to escape from his body. Maybe it’s sore because it can feel what’s coming and is already trying to pull him toward Detroit. Who knows! Apparently it’s nothing. But when your team only has two or three good pitchers, you kind of have to be extra sensitive about this crap.