Wednesday, May 7, 2008

All Blown Saves Are NOT Created Equal

Tough one for Papelbon tonight. You know how stat people will tell you that winning/losing a game by one run can come down to a ton of luck? Well I think Wednesday's Sox/Tigers game could be considered Exhibit A. Consider Papelbon's 9th inning:

1) An excuse me swing base hit for the leadoff batter.

2) Julio Lugo botching an easy groundball. Creating two on with no outs.

3) A sacrifice bunt. Second and third with one out.

4) A grounder to second to score a run. Now first and third with two outs.

5) A broken bat flare just barely out of the reach of Lugo for the game winning hit.

Jeesh. The hardest hit ball was probably Edgar Renteria's ground ball to short that Lugo botched and despite all that the Tigers were able to scratch together two runs to win the game against arguably baseball's best closer. Pretty tough to fault Paps for this blown save. Oh well. You have to figure with all the last at bat victories the Sox have had this year (and Wednesday looked to be another) that eventually one won would go the other way. This was that game. Beckett on Thursday though trying to propel them to taking three of four from Detroit. I like the chances. Going for the sweep would have been better of course but if you were asked at the outset of the series if you'd feel good about the team taking three of four from Detroit in Detroit, I promise you your answer would be a resounding, "YES".

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