Jonathan Papelbon had a simple message – the Phillies have to start playing better fundamental baseball.
Papelbon also stood and took the blame for Wednesday’s 6-2 loss in 11 innings to the Washington Nationals.
Before Monday he had not blown a save all year. Now he has two blown saves in three days.
Leading 2-1 in the ninth, Papelbon allowed an infield hit, a walk and then a two-out RBI single by Jayson Werth that tied the score.
That is how close the Phillies were to sweeping this three-game series.
“We had a chance to win all three and that is all you can really ask for,” Papelbon said. “With that being said, I still have to make the pitch to Werth.”
He said the pitch wasn’t very good, running along the middle.
“I got to get into more of a battle with him,” Papelbon said.
Yet he kept coming back to fundamentals, or lack of to be precise, saying that is a reason for the 35-38 record.
“It is everything from pitchers making the correct pitches, pitchers backing up correct bases, outfielders moving on counts, infielders moving on counts,” Papelbon said. “Everything that goes into every pre-pitch, we’ve got to do better.”
He said he isn’t pointing the finger at any one person, instead directing it to the entire team.
He also says that too many mistakes are being repeated.
“I am seeing some of the same mistakes we make,” he said. “For us we have to go out there and make the fundamental plays we are supposed to make.”
Papelbon was asked if the Phillies begin playing clean baseball, can they make a playoff run.
“I can’t predict the future,” he said. “It’s the game of baseball. It’s a pretty simple game and when you try to do too much, it becomes very complicated.”
In his mind, fundamentals go with winning. And this season Papelbon hasn’t seen a lot of either.