Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Good Banking, Bad Bullpen Pitching

Jonathan Papelbon leaving a lot to be desired on the Citizens Bank Park mound.

Good Banking, Bad Bullpen Pitching

Jonathan Papelbon allowed a first-pitch home run to Zack Cozart in the top of the ninth on Tuesday. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Jonathan Papelbon allowed a first-pitch home run to Zack Cozart in the top of the ninth on Tuesday. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Unless you've been living under a rock or buried in NFL Fantasy homework since April, you no doubt have seen or heard the Citizens Bank commercials during Phillies games that brag that "good banking is good citizenship."

That may be true, but its ballpark is not conducive to good bullpen-pitching, especially in the case of $50 million man Jonathan Papelbon, whose numbers at Citizens Bank Park are nowhere near those he has put up in road stadiums. For instance — ERA: 4.05 vs. 1.52 ... WHIP: 1.39 vs. 0.76 ... Opponents batting average: .278 vs. .159 ... and Home Runs: 5 vs. 0.

Here are some other Papelbon stats to chew on ... Eighth-inning batters are 0-for-12 in 14 plate appearances against him (two walks, seven strikeouts) ... Batters facing him in a tie game are now 13-for-32 with a .406 batting average, a .472 on-base percentage and a .719 slugging percentage ... To that end, his ERA in save situations is 2.03; non-save situations, 4.19.

Papelbon's home/road breakdown after Tuesday's loss is below.

        Home         Road 
 Games 25  24 
 W-L 3-4   0-1 
 ERA 4.05  1.52 
 Saves/Opp. 10/11  17/19 
 Innings 26.2  23.2 
 Hits 30  13 
 Runs/Earned 12/12  4/4 
 Walks
 Strikeouts 34  26 
 Home Runs
 WHIP 1.39  0.76 
 Strikeouts/9 IP 11.47  9.89 
 Opp. Batting Avg. .278  .159 
 Opp. On-Base Pct. .328  .216 
 Opp. Slugging Pct.       .472  .183 
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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