Thursday, May 03, 2007
Even though Papelbon was not available last night, Tito should be using others more often in the ninth inning when the club is up by three runs. Timlin gave up a run last night, and it could have been another if Coco did not make a great grab, but he just couldn't let them get three before three outs. It does not take a great pitcher to close out these types of games.
As I wrote earlier this year,
Last night’s dominance from Papelbon is another piece of evidence that he should not be a conventional closer – pitching just the ninth in every save situation. Unless Papelbon needs the work to stay sharp, he should not close games in the ninth with the Sox up by three runs getting cheap saves. Brendan Donnelly or Mike Timlin can get three outs before giving up three runs…maybe even Joel PineiroBread ($1 to SurvivingGrady.com). Tito should keep him available for a situation similar to last night’s game – the tying and/or go ahead runs on base in the eighth. Assuming Paps needs the day off before and after a two innings appearance, if he does not pitch in cheap save situations, then he can potentially make more two inning appearances. And the Sox will win more games.
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