|Papelbon fist pumps after another strikeout. Papelbon's fire and passion has been his best attribute this season.|
Papelbon blowing the save isn't the story. Really, we shouldn't even be talking about it come the first game in the doubleheader Saturday. The real story about Friday night is how this 25-year-old southerner handled himself after blowing the save against the Rangers.
The way he handled it was like a 15-year pro. Papelbon walked out on to that mound with a look on his face that everyone in the ballpark could read. He desired for three outs. And he knew he was going to get those three outs.
He started by striking out right fielder Mark DeRosa with a steady diet of fastballs. Immediately after, he got Brad Wilkerson to chase on a nasty splitter. He almost got out of the inning, but Mike Lowell wasn't able to make a spectacular play off a hard hit ball by Rod Barajas. No need, though. Rookie second baseman Ian Kinsler came to the plate and was powerless against the fire Papelbon threw.
He struck out the side and the game was over.
Who cares if he blew the save? He was bound to do it sometime, and at least we won. It's like when he gave up his first - and only - run; it had to be done and now he doesn't have the pressure of perfection on his back.
If anything, this is a good thing. Don't look at it as a bad thing, because as we've all come to know, Papelbon comes back stronger after bad games. But it really wasn't a bad game; only bad compared to what we're used to from him.
A blown save has never been so great.