PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jonathan Papelbon got his fourth save in five opportunities on Thursday afternoon, in a 1-0 Phillies win over the Braves. The Phils avoided the sweep and improved to 7-8 on the season with the win.
Papelbon was excellent, throwing a 14-pitch, nine strike 9th inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced. His velocity, which has significantly decreased over the past two seasons, was better as he fastball was reaching 93 miles per hour. After the game, when asked about his velocity, Papelbon snapped.
“Why do you guys care about velo[city] so much, man?” Papelbon said. “Does that matter? Does that really matter? Do you really think that matters? I don’t understand that. If a ball has life on it at the plate and you’re throwing 88 miles per hour versus 98 miles per hour, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference whether you threw 93 or 94 or 84.
“I just … I don’t get it, man. You all killed Roy [Halladay] about velo[city]. It’s not a big deal,” Papelbon continued. “You do your job and your ball’s coming out of your hand, it doesn’t really matter how hard you’re throwing. I mean, their pitcher over there today, how hard was he throwing? Low ’90′s? High ’80′s? Look how he pitched. He ran through our lineup the first eight innings basically, but he had life at the plate. That’s all that really matters, man. End of story.”
After blowing his first save opportunity on April 2nd against the Rangers, Papelbon has saved four straight for the Phillies. He has allowed five hits and three earned runs while striking out seven, in 6.1 innings pitches this season.