TORONTO — For the first time in his major league career, Jonathan Papelbon was taken out in the ninth inning in a tie game as a reliever (due to factors not involving an injury), Thursday. After the Red Sox’ 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays — in which Papelbon surrendered three runs in the ninth for the third time this season — the Sox’ closer said he understood why Sox manager Terry Francona made the move to go to Daniel Bard with one out, the Sox up by a run and the bases loaded. (Click here to see ‘Closing Time’ for a recap.)
“You want to finish games, that’s my job. I want to finish games,” Papelbon explained. “But I think the fact of the matter is that I didn’t execute my job and you pass it on to somebody else.”
Despite showing some of the best velocity he has possessed all season (hitting 99 mph on one occasion), Papelbon said that when it came to life on his fastball it wasn’t one of his better days.
“I didn’t have much power or energy in my delivery today,” he explained. When asked if he felt like that warming up in the bullpen, Papelbon responded, “Just most of the day. Just kind of a groggy day for me.”
Papelbon’s struggles began after replacing John Lackey after the Red Sox’ starter surrendered a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista in the ninth inning. With the Sox holding a two-run lead, the reliever came on and immediately allowed three straight hits — a double to Vernon Wells, Adam Lind’s single up the middle, and a single by Aaron Hill that rifled off the closer’s foot.
Papelbon did come back to strike out Travis Snider with pinch-runner DeWayne Wise at third representing the tying run. But Edwin Encarnacion managed to jump all over a slider for a game-tying double down the left field line, leading Papelbon to intentionally walk Lyle Overbay and subsequently leave the game in favor of Bard.
“Leaving the ball up in the zone,” he said when asked what went wrong. “It just seemed every one of my pitches today was up in the zone in a pressure situation and obviously that can’t happen.”
Bard couldn’t duplicate the same magic he performed Monday afternoon in New York when he came on with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh inning and got out of it unscathed. This time Toronto’s Fred Lewis’ managed to elevate a fly ball to center field just deep enough to score Hill with the game-winner.
“I think he grounds it out half the time. It’s definitely where I wanted it,” said Bard of the pitch. “It’s almost impossible, but I got out of it the other day. It wasn’t the ninth so that’s the difference. There’s no room for error there, at all. Just some tough luck and some tough hops.”
Asked what his strategy coming into the situation was, Bard explained that a strikeout wasn’t on his mind.
“I’m trying to get a double play. That’s our best shot of getting out of it,” he said. “If I try to go punch-out that increases my chances of walking him and throwing balls out of the zone. I have to pitch with my best stuff in the zone in that situation, try to get a ground ball or an infield pop up. Something soft.”
Asked about taking out Papelbon for the first time in the middle of the ninth, Francona cited what the situation called for.
“Sometimes the games dictate … it’s not an ego thing,” the Sox’ manager said. “Just trying to win the game. More of a … at that point, we’re trying to keep the ball out of the air. Pap was up. It’s probably not the best way. Just trying to keep that game going.”
For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Hour 4. The guys think the Globe was looking for more with Brady, possibly a Trump connection. Crazy Al joins the show multiple times.
Hour 3. Gerry and Mut defend Brady while Kirk thinks it’s a little suspicious. Callers weigh in on the Tome Brady piece. Climate marches are taking place across the country.
Hour 2. Gerry, Kirk, and Mut discuss the Celtics win against the Bulls and continue their conversation about Brady and Best Buddies. Headlines with Kirk features a new accusation against Sean Hannity.
Hour 2 - The guys talk about the Boston Globe article attacking Tom Brady and his charity work. Pete Abe's is an idiot saying his twitter account was hacked but in fact he is just an ass man.
Hour 1 - Glenn, Lou, and Christian react to the Bruins losing another overtime game and being knocked out of the playoffs by the Senators. They also talk about the Celtics and Bulls series and how the Celtics were able to win another game in Chicago.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken & Chris are back at the postgame recaps after a Monday K&C with Mut.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut joins Kirk and Gerry. The guys can’t believe neither Boston newspaper covered the Hernandez sexuality story. Over the weekend, the Globe’s Bob Hohler wrote a slanted piece about Tom Brady’s work with charity.More from this show