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Sandberg: “This Generation Has A Hard Time Of Pitching Or Playing With Some Soreness”

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Phillies closer, Jonathan Papelbon, is in the midst of 11 straight saves and has not allowed a run since April 2nd in Texas. Papelbon, who threw seven pitches on Friday and 14 pitches on Saturday after not pitching at all on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, was unavailable for Sunday’s game against the Mets due to general soreness.

“Just the pitch counts in general, even for the starting pitchers, the times have changed with just protecting the pitchers,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told the WIP Morning Show on Monday morning. “I don’t know, the pitchers just come up with some tenderness. This generation has a hard time of pitching or playing with some soreness. They’re unsure what the soreness is and yeah, I remember when a closer used to pitch two or three innings to get a save back in the day.”

The Phillies, who were looking for a sweep against the Mets, took a 4-1 lead into the ninth inning of Sunday’s game after starting pitcher Cole Hamels threw 133 pitches in seven innings. Antonio Basatardo and starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez, who threw 99 pitches of his own on Friday, pitched the ninth inning. They were unable to get the save for the Phillies, who eventually lost 5-4 in 11 innings.

“It was actually set up well in there at the end of the game because Hamels went the distance and went seven innings,” Sandberg said. “[Mario] Hollands put up a zero in the eight and then I had Bastardo set for the ninth, and then I also had Roberto Hernandez laying in the wings. That was his side day after throwing Friday.”

Relief pitchers Jake Diekman and Mike Adams were also unavailable after pitching the previous two nights. Sandberg explained that Papelbon asked for the day off prior to the game on Sunday, due to soreness.

“He [Papelbon] reported to the ballpark yesterday and he had soreness in his neck and his back and he was just asking for a day to get over that,” Sandberg explained. “So he was, right from the get go, he was not available and we had to piece some other guys in that slot and piece the bullpen together.”

Once Papelbon expressed soreness before the game on Sunday, Sandberg explained there was nothing he could have done.

“On my end when a pitcher comes in and says he has things bothering him and he can’t pitch, we have our hands tied and then we just try to deal with it.”

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