Debunking Jonathan Papelbon's non-save thing

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Jonathan Papelbon has allowed seven runs in 10 1/3 innings when pitching in non-save situations. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

When Dexter Fowler bounced one through the right side, Jonathan Papelbon could only look skyward. He had allowed another run in a non-save situation and probably a few watching in the Delaware Valley groaned, "See?"

Papelbon's usage is a topic that has incited debate, but the richest reliever in baseball history was pitching Wednesday in a tie game at home and that was expected.

He has allowed seven runs in 10 1/3 innings when pitching in non-save situations. He has yet to allow a run in the 17 1/3 innings he's pitched with a save on the line.

On numerous occasions in 2012, Papelbon has dismissed the notion of any difference between the two scenarios. His career numbers, a much larger sample size than three months in 2012, support that idea.

ISplitERAGIPHRERHRBBSOWHIPSO/9SO/BB
  in Sv Situ 2.24 272 277.0 201 76 69 19 74 330 0.993 10.7 4.46
  in non-Sv 2.43 148 163.0 125 51 44 13 36 195 0.988 10.8 5.42

Charlie Manuel agreed Papelbon's weird splits are happenstance.

"That's just the way it is, I don’t think that has anything to do with it," Manuel said. "I think he made pretty good pitches on Fowler. He threw a 2-2 pitch close. The ball Fowler hit was down, it might have been out of the strike zone, he just dropped the head of the bat on it and it happened to go in the right place."


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