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Why Jonathan Papelbon wasn’t warming up in the eighth

09.08.11 at 12:14 pm ET
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“I actually thought it was the right thing to do.” — Terry Francona on staying away from Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth inning Wednesday night.

TORONTO — Some have suggested that Jonathan Papelbon should have been the guy to face Jose Bautista, or even Edwin Encarncion, or at least have been warming up in what turned out to be a five-run eighth inning for the Blue Jays Wednesday night.

Well, here is why he wasn’t:

- The reason why Papelbon wasn’t warming up when Terry Francona decided to get Matt Albers up in the eighth was because Papelbon rarely ever warms up in the eight inning. He has pitched three times this season in the eighth, the last occasion coming way back on May 9. He also did it just four times in ’10.

- If this was a playoff game, Francona would have most likely had Papelbon warming. The closer has, after all, pitched in the eighth four times in the playoffs, including two out of the three American League Division Series games against the Angels in ’09. He has also pitched in the eighth on one day’s rest just once (May 9) in the past three seasons, with four days passing before he pitched after that May outing

- Before the at-bat that saw Bard walk in the tying run, Bautista was 0-for-6 against the reliever with three strikeouts. He had also seemingly righted the ship, having struck out two of the three previous batters. On the flip side, Bard had already thrown 31 pitches (on his way to 36, the second-most of his big league career) and Papelbon had success with Bautista (1-for-8) and with the bases loaded (7 batters faced this season, 7 strikeouts).

- Regarding Encarnacion, Albers had good success against him, limiting the righty hitter to two hits in 11 at-bats, totaling six strikeouts. Encarnacion, on the other hand, was 3-for-3 against Papelbon.

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