Thursday, February 26, 2015

Phillies Saved By Papelbon's Five-Out Save

It was something in another era that was so commonplace, but it now stands out as a rarity: the five out save.

Phillies Saved By Papelbon's Five-Out Save

It was something in another era that was so commonplace, but it now stands out as a rarity: the five out save.

To show how much Charlie Manuel didn’t want to let Friday’s game with the Miami Marlins get away, the Phillies manager deviated from his usual strategy.

Manuel called Jonathan Papelbon in with the Phillies leading 6-4 in the eighth inning. The bases were loaded, and there was just one out.

Papelbon got out of the inning and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in as many opportunities.

More coverage
VOTE: Which Phillies pitcher will have the best season?
POLL: Will Howard regain his form with the Phillies?
VOTE: Which Phillie do you expect the most from in spring?
POLL: Which Phils prospect will break out this season?
Follow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!
Buy Phillies jerseys and other gear
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates

Manuel gave a simple answer when asked why he went against the managerial book and used Papelbon to get five outs.

“I wanted to win the game,” he said.

The Phillies manager insists this won’t be a common practice, but he obviously made the right move on Friday. Too many games are given away because managers stubbornly adhere to the belief that a closer can only pitch one inning.

“This early in the season, if you are not careful you could overwork your guy,” Manuel said. “If you do it every now and then and not so often it’s okay.”

This was Papelbon’s first save this year of more than one inning, but it was the 32nd time he’s done it in his career.

The closer threw 25 pitches and was more than willing for some extra duty.

“I like every chance and every opportunity I can to get in the ball game,” Papelbon said. “For me, anytime Charlie calls on me to get in the game, I am ready and willing and able.”

He said he entered the game with a simple strategy.

“You just have to stay focused for an extra inning,” he said.

Papelbon said there is a difference in having to get up and warm up twice in a game.

“Being up and down, it changes your mindset, and obviously you have to approach it differently, but it doesn’t affect me,” Papelbon said.

With yet another injury — this time the elbow strain suffered by Jose Contreras — the Phillies bullpen needed a lift. Papelbon was the only righthander remaining.

No doubt Manuel will be tempted to do this again with Papelbon.

And while it can’t be done every game or every week, with the struggles of the bullpen, Pappelbon should get a few more eighth inning calls, especially if he handles the situation the way he did on Friday.

Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
Stay Connected